June 26, 2018 / 10:35 AM / 3 months ago

Federer to defend Hopman Cup title ahead of Australian Open

(Reuters) - World number two Roger Federer says he will defend his Hopman Cup mixed teams title in Perth along with Switzerland team-mate Belinda Bencic, seeing the tournament as perfect preparation for the Australian Open.

Tennis - ATP - Halle Open Finals - Gerry Weber Stadion, Halle, Germany - June 24, 2018 Switzerland's Roger Federer after losing the final against Croatia's Borna Coric REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Federer has won the last two Australian Open titles - the first Grand Slam of the year - after taking part in the mixed-doubles tournament, which starts in the Australian city of Perth on Dec. 29.

“It’s (Hopman Cup) obviously the perfect preparation for the Australian Open and it worked so well the last couple of years, I can’t wait to come back,” Federer told reporters.

Federer and Bencic will be joined by last year’s beaten finalists, two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber and world number three Alexander Zverev.

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle

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