Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Roger Federer wins tough Hopman Cup match against Karen Khachanov from Russian Federation

Roger Federer wins tough Hopman Cup match against Karen Khachanov from Russian Federation

Roger Federer overcame a tricky Karen Khachanov in straight sets while Belinda Bencic got one over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as Switzerland blanked Russian Federation 3-0 in the Hopman Cup on Tuesday. Khachanov saved the first match point Federer earned before then getting a set point of his own as he attempted to level the clash.

Their previous showdown in Halle ended 6-4, 7-6 (5) in Federer's favour, with Khachanov stepping up his game significantly in the second set on both occasions, but ultimately surrendering to the 19-time Grand Slam champion.

And although he started slowly against Khachanov, he quickly bounced back to win the opening set in 29 minutes.

"It was nice to see him free swinging the entire match, which isn't easy to do", Federer said of his opponent.

"The tiebreak was close, it was good to play that early on in the season, to play those nervy situations with the pulse up high, you're sweating loads".

"I remember those days, match point down, you go for it, you don't care". He mixed up the play well, so it was a tough match for me.

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Osaka was replaced by 19-year-old Maddison Inglis in order for play to go ahead, but the US were awarded straight-sets victories in the matches she was set to be involved in: the women's singles and mixed doubles. "The match had a bit of everything, so I'm very happy with the performance".

The United States beat Japan 2-1 in the other Group B clash to take place today.

Prior to Sock's injury, Japan's Naomi Osaka had withdrawn from her singles match with Vandeweghe due to illness.

US bt Japan 2-1 [CoCo Vandeweghe bt Naomi Osaka 6-0, 6-0 (w/o); Jack Sock lost to Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (1), 1-1, retd.; Vandweghe & Sock bt Osaka & Sugita 4-0, 4-0 (w/o)].

The tournament in the Australian city continues tomorrow as Canada play Germany and the hosts face Belgium in Group A.

But there were no such dramas for the elder statesman Federer, who 12 months ago stunned the tennis world by ending an nearly four-year Grand Slam drought with a victory at the Australian Open, after also preparing at the Hopman Cup.

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