Hopman Cup: Federer beats Tiafoe and looks forward to playing Serena

Federer beats Tiafoe, 6-4, 6-1, to put Switzerland 1-0 up in its group tie against the United States in the Hopman Cup.

Federer and compatriot Belinda Bencic are defending their title at the mixed teams event.   -  ap

Roger Federer dispatched Frances Tiafoe on Tuesday in a match which served as an appetiser for the Swiss great's first ever meeting on court with Serena Williams.

Federer beat Tiafoe, 6-4, 6-1, to put Switzerland 1-0 up in its group tie against the United States in the Hopman Cup.

Tiafoe stayed with Federer until the 12th game of the first set when the Swiss broke to win the first set. From there Federer cruised to victory.

As he spoke on court, Federer was already looking forward to the next match.

“What a thrill it is to play Serena here tonight,” he told the crowd in Perth.

Federer and compatriot Belinda Bencic are defending their title at the mixed teams event.

Williams and Bencic followed the men on court for the women's singles.

Only the group winner advances to the final, so the closing doubles could ultimately decide the winner of a group that also contains Greece and Britain.

Even if Bencic wins, Williams and Federer planned to take the court for the mixed doubles. That would be the first time the two 37-year-olds have ever played each other.

The mixed doubles are contested in a short-set format with tiebreaks at 3-3 but that still means two matches in a day for the four players.

“I'll stay on the bike and keep the engine on,” Federer said.

“I had a really late night last night on New Year's Eve,” he said, adding after a pause: “No I'm joking.”