Roger Federer is cruising in the Hopman Cup, overcoming Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6 at the Perth Arena. Federer gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the Hopman Cup tie after defeating Khachanov in front of 13,943 fans – a record crowd for the mixed-teams event.
In the second set, Federer saved a set point, before eventually going on to win on his third match point with some help from the Hawkeye.
Federer also revealed that packed houses are one of the main reasons that motivate him to still play Tennis at the highest level at the age of 36.
Over the years, the 19-time Grand Slam champion has become a must-see attraction in the game of tennis. Not only do the crowds flock to watch him play during his matches, fans turn up in huge numbers just to witness him practice.
“It’s not normal,” Federer said.
“You have to work so hard for it to happen. People come out to watch you practice. That was the weirdest thing that ever happened to me,” he added.
“When I turned world No 1 playing in Australia back in 2004, I remember going to Rotterdam and going to practice barely warmed up because it was an easy hit and there were a few hundred people at the practice.
I was like ‘what are they doing here? Why would you go watch somebody practise? It’s the matches that matter!’.
“But I really don’t take it for granted and I think that’s what keeps me on tour. If I had to play on the outside courts or stadiums that were not full at all, I think the passion would go away a bit even though I love tennis and what I do,” said the Swiss.