4 Oct 2018

Tennis great to square off in Perth

7:13 am on 4 October 2018

Tennis giants Serena Williams and Roger Federer will square off early next year when when the USA play Switzerland in the mixed doubles at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Williams, 37, has not played since her controversial US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka in September. It will be Williams first match of 2019.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion partners Frances Tiafoe, while 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer and Belinda Bencic will seek to defend their title.

Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter will represent Great Britain in Perth.

"The Aussie fans are always so warm and supportive and the Hopman Cup has always given me a great start to the season, especially ahead of the Australian Open," said Williams, who pulled out of this month's China Open.

Serena Williams.

Serena Williams. Photo: Photosport

Williams will be playing in Australia for the first time since winning the 2017 Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant, having missed last year's tournament as she was not fully fit to return following the birth of daughter Olympia.

The Hopman Cup runs from December 29th until January 5th, with the 2019 Australian Open taking place from January 14th-27th.

The mixed team event features eight nations split into two groups, with teams facing each other in sessions that consist of a men's and women's singles match and a mixed doubles match.

Roger Federer has said the umpire's intervention with Nick Kyrgios.

Roger Federer. Photo: Photosport

Each team plays the other three in their group, and the top teams in each group then meet in the final.

The USA are due to meet Switzerland on New Year's Day in Group B, which also features Great Britain and Greece.

Group A consists of France, Spain, Germany and hosts Australia.

Federer, 37, and Bencic, 21, won Switzerland's first Hopman Cup since 2001 earlier this year.