Federer, Bencic win ultra-climactic Hopman Cup final

Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber

Zverev, who beat Federer in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals last November, added: "Angie shouldn't do much different because she won the singles match past year so I take the blame all on me".

Thanks to the Fast4 format, the final match culminated in a championship point for both teams simultaneously: At 4-4 in the third-set tiebreak between Switzerland and Germany, it was truly victor take all.

Then there was world No2 and three-time Major champion Angelique Kerber, paired up with the man nearly a decade her junior but already a champion at the ATP Finals, world No4, Alexander Zverev.

"Oh god. I mean, me and Angie (Kerber) after we lost a year ago, we were pretty disappointed and we immediately decided we wanted to come back and we wanted to compete again for our country at the Hopman Cup".

It was Switzerland's fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six, and Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis.

The Swiss had two break chances against the Zverev serve in the first game of the third, and the German double faulted to concede it.

"We really wanted to win as a team", Zverev said.

"And that's why me and Angie decided after last year's final that we're definitely going to come back here to Perth".

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Federer defeated Frances Tiafoe, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cameron Norrie and Zverev in straight sets and will be full of confidence heading into Melbourne Park later this month. But Federer and Bencic hit back in the second to ensure a tie.

It was not until Kerber's third match point that a backhand victor secured the 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) win.

"I hope it (final) is going to be just as exciting as past year, but just going the other way".

Kerber leveled with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Bencic.

"He's had a wonderful end to the season beating me and Novak back to back in semis and the final in London", Federer said.

"I served good and was moving well and Ash is always a tricky opponent", Kerber said. "I mean. Oh gosh", Zverev said, hand on hip.

"Sascha struggled but I made the most of it and it puts us in a good position now with Belinda playing".

"I'm one of the top 10 favourites and so are many others", he said.

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