Maria Sakkari could not resist the fan side of her when she was up against Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup. Sakkari and her partner Stefanos Tsitsipas dished out a 2-1 win over Federer and Belinda Bencic in Greece vs Switzerland contest. However, at the end of the game, something unusual and funny happened.
After the final point of the mixed doubles match, Sakkari, who pulled off a brilliant return of Federer’s serve to seal the win, was excited. The 23-year-old after shaking hands with Federer went on to ‘steal’ the 37-year-old Tennis star’s towel which was left on his seat. Sakkari was all smiles as she eloped with the prized souvenir. Rafael Nadal: 'Tennis' Next Generation is Ready to Challenge the Big Three'
“I don’t know how I made it. I think I only returned two of Federer’s serves the whole match and the second one was the last point and the most important.,” Sakkari said after the match. The win, however, wasn’t enough for Tsitsipas and Sakkari to advance to the final.
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Meanwhile, Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history when he led Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament. In what is tipped to be the final edition of the unique tournament, the best was saved for last as Federer became the first player to win three Hopman Cups, teaming with Bencic to make it successive titles in Perth. Roger Federer Calls For Respect for Tennis Ballboys and Girls After Fernando Verdasco's Video Berating Ballboy Goes Viral
For the second year in a row, the Swiss beat the German pairing of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber by claiming a deciding mixed doubles rubber which was loaded with drama. It was Switzerland's fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six, and Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis.
The 37-year-old gave the Swiss the early ascendancy with a straight sets win against Zverev, before Kerber squared the tie by beating a dogged Bencic to set up the mixed doubles decider.
Federer was a dominant figure in an extraordinary doubles match as the Swiss claimed the abbreviated format 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5/4) to clinch the title despite Germany having two match points.
Fittingly, it was Federer who served out the match in the third set tie-break, having been unable to do so earlier in the set. The tournament came down to a single point at 4-4 in the third set tie-break, with both teams holding match point and after an extended rally, Zverev dumped a backhand into the net to hand the Swiss victory. (With PTI inputs).