For the first time ever, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, both of whom are widely regarded as the greatest tennis players ever, will square off when Switzerland takes on USA in the Hopman Cup in Perth.
They will play in men’s and women’s singles rubbers before meeting in the mixed doubles alongside partners Belinda Bencic and Frances Tiafoe.
The match has already been dubbed the most anticipated contest involving a male and female player since the “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973, when Billie Jean King, a 39-time Grand Slam champion, outshone former men’s world number one Bobby Riggs in straight sets.
While this will surely be a spectacle for the tennis world, both players, who have won a combined 43 Grand Slam titles, are excitedly looking forward to locking horns.
“It is very exciting for both of us and I hope a lot of tennis fans tune in and watch it because it’s going to be one time and probably never again in this kind of a competition,” Federer said.
Williams labelled it “a dream come true”, and said, “I have been looking forward to it. This is so cool.”
Federer, 37, then lavished praise on the great American.
“I admire everything she’s done on and off the court,” the phenomenal Swiss said. “We can relate to one another now even more so for being parents.
“I’ve played with some of the greatest doubles players in the world in Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis, and I’ve also played against some of the best in Venus [Williams] and other great ones in the past.”
“This time it’s against Serena, who is one of the biggest champions ever in our sport – men and women combined.”
Williams revealed that she intends getting a selfie with the great Swiss to share on Instagram. Tennis’s greatest selfie?
The Hopman Cup comprises two singles and a mixed doubles match between nations in a round-robin format with two groups of four. The winners of each group will contest Saturday’s final. The event Down Under serves as a warm up for the Australian Open