'Oh what a night': Federer & Williams reflect on unique Hopman Cup match-up
"It was a great experience. I'm kinda sad it's over. I was just warming up!" laughed Williams after the match, in which Swiss pair Federer and Belinda Bencic over came Williams and her partner Frances Tiafoe.
"It was so fun... we grew up together, really. After all these years, we've actually never done this, so it was super cool that we get to do it at such a pivotal point in both our careers," Williams added.
"For me, it was super cool. I wanted to take pictures and I wanted bring my baby out. I was way too excited!"
Serena and Federer full moment. A special one. pic.twitter.com/60W2uNHX9o— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 1, 2019
Federer was equally excited to have taken part in the mixed-doubles matchup, and admitted that he was a little concerned about facing Williams' booming serve.
"I was nervous returning!" he grinned.
"It was nerve-wracking, too, to be honest. All of a sudden you're serving at three-all [and] I thought I've gotta win this point, but it's Serena Williams!
"I made the serve but I actually totally missed the target and thank you for missing the ball!
"It was great, great fun. She's a great champion. You can see how focused and determined she is, and that's what I love about her."
The mutual appreciation continued when Williams was asked to assess the abilities of her opposite number, having just faced him on court for the first time.
Williams was gushing in her praise, saying: "This guy is great. He's the greatest of all time, to be honest.
"Both on the court and off the court has such charisma and he's such a wonderful player.
"I think his serve is super-underestimated. He has a killer serve, - literally, you can’t read it. There's a reason why he's a greatest because you can't be that great and not have such an awesome weapon like that serve.
"I watched him all the time and I never knew how amazing it was. Hopefully, I can get some tips later!"
The pair took selfies after the matchup and posed for photos for the fans. Federer captioned his "Oh what a night," while Williams wrote: "The GOAT vs the GOAT. The GOAT won."
It wasn't the first selfie Federer has ever taken, having recorded an excited "Happy New Year" selfie video message for his fans the night before the game.
The meeting between the pair not only showed two all-time greats on court together for the first time, it also showed the respect and camaraderie they both had for each other.
When people say we're lucky to have Federer and Serena as ambassadors for the sport, that's why, that right there. pic.twitter.com/r4JHTyO5Vu— Shego (@LadyBellatrix) January 1, 2019
But, as one tennis correspondent noted, it was tinged with a little sadness with the knowledge that the competition that brought them together, the Hopman Cup, was being moved aside, with funding being diverted to stage ATP World Team Cup in Australia instead.
Much publicity for the big mixed doubles match pitting Serena Williams and Roger Federer against each other for the first time. Shame then that the Hopman Cup is set to disappear next year. A rare opportunity in tennis for men & women to team up with each other for their country.— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 1, 2019