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Roger Federer’s strong showing helps Switzerland beat Russia in Hopman Cup

first_imgRoger Federer overcame a tricky Karen Khachanov in straight sets while Belinda Bencic got one over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as Switzerland blanked Russia 3-0 in the Hopman Cup on Tuesday.Ahead of the Australian Open, Federer once more got momentum on his side with a 6-3, 7-6(8) win over Khachanov of Russia in front of a record crowd of 13,943 at the Perth Arena.After a comfortable first set victory, Federer was pushed to the brink before topping the 21-year-old Russian.Khachanov began the match with a little inhibition but the power in his shots meant he broke Federer early on.However, it did not take much out of Federer as the Swiss quickly got into his zone and wrapped up the opening set in 29 minutes.ALSO WATCHKhachanov held Federer on the ropes in the second, not letting his foot off the gas. However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion brought all his experience to play and dug out the tie breaker to clinch the match on his third match point.”It was nice to see him free swinging the entire match, which isn’t easy to do,” Federer said of his opponent.”I remember those days, match point down, you go for it, you don’t care. That is what you have to remind yourselves sometimes when you’re older, to go for it. He mixed up the play well, so it was a tough match for me.”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. The match had a bit of everything, so I’m very happy with the performance.”advertisementBencic, on the other hand, had to dig deep to bring up the victory for Switzerland.In what was a close contest, Bencic outlasted world No.15 Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.Bencic later pair up with Federer in the mixed doubles dead rubber to win the match.Earlier, the United States scored a 2-1 win over Japan after Naomi Osaka was too ill to participate. Osaka’s withdrawal gave CoCo Vandeweghe a 6-0, 6-0 victory in their singles match.Japan drew level after Jack Sock retired while trailing against Yuichi Sugita but Osaka’s absence meant the Americans were awarded a 4-0, 4-0 win in the deciding mixed doubles rubber.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more