Serena wins on return but United States lose Hopman Cup opener

Roger Federer enjoys impressive start to new season

"What an honour", 20-time Grand Slam victor Federer said after the match.

Williams plays Federer's Swiss team-mate Belinda Bencic in the women's doubles match at the Hopman Cup today - once Roger Federer vs Frances Tiafoe is concluded. I know why they say it now, she has a wonderful serve. What a pleasure. What an honour.

After the match he hinted at a possible move to Australia, where there is a healthy Greek population. But, considering Federer's mind-blowing tournament run in the past couple of years and Williams' heroic return to the court after almost dying during her daughter's birth, there's still a hell of play left in front of them. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, this is so cool.' So it's just something that, as a player, is something that you would dream of, to play Roger Federer".

Federer and Bencic beat Britain's Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter in their opening round-robin tie, while the United States of America lost to Greece on Monday despite Williams winning her singles tie.

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Federer gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Frances Tiafoe.

However, even a rare defeat couldn't take the gloss off the experience of facing Federer for the first, and nearly certainly the only, time.

Federer was made to work during a tough first set before overwhelming the 20-year-old Tiafoe and taking control by winning seven straight games.

"The guy is great, he's the greatest of all time both on and off the court, he has such charisma". He discovered his groove by dominating Norrie's serve and broke in the second game with a powerful cross-court backhand victor.

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"It's the age of social media", Federer said with a laugh when told about Williams' plan. "I mean she's equal to me....so from that standpoint, its just really once the movement comes into play that the difference- it becomes bigger", said the Swiss.

Federer's appearances at the past two Hopman Cups laid the groundwork for successful Australian Open campaigns.

"It's been a great start to the season for me, I found a way and I have to be happy right now", Federer said.

Regardless, it will be a crying shame if indeed 2019 does prove to be the end of tennis' only major event with such a laser sharp focus on men and women doing battle on the same court.

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