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The USA May Have Won Hopman Cup Tie Had They Put a Sock in it

The hyped-up doubles match involving Serena Williams and Roger Federer saw the Swiss victorious in 46 minutes: 4-2, 4-3.

Federer and Bencic on Course to Defend Title

It was a key mixed doubles contest. This was after Federer dispatched Tiafoe in the singles, and Serena Williams put an end to the Bencic fight. Federer and Bencic are establishing a good mixed doubles record. They showed they had not lost their touch when putting Britain’s Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie to the sword earlier in this Hopman Cup event. Bencic and Federer now look like they may take some stopping as they seek to defend their title.

It Could have Been Different had it Been Jack Sock, not Tiafoe, Partnering Serena Williams

The USA lost their Federation Cup crown because they did not select, for whatever reason, a strong enough team in the final against the Czechs. Both Williams sisters were missing, along with Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. This time, the selection of Tiafoe needs serious reconsideration. The World #39 is growing in stature in the singles. However, he has been the weakest link in both of the USA’s mixed doubles defeats in the 2019 Hopman Cup. It was his serve that Bencic and Federer were able to break down in the fifth game for the only break of serve in the match.

Serena Williams, since returning from absence, has looked a tad out of rhythm with the demands of doubles. That said, even in the two defeats, you can tell the positioning know-how and awareness of your partner’s strengths has returned. Therefore, a more pronounced doubles player was required for her. Sock, partnering Coco Vandeweghe, was on the losing side to Federer and Bencic in last season’s Hopman Cup. He is definitely worth a try with a decorated Olympic doubles player of Serena Williams’ calibre.

Jack Sock Would have Strengthened the USA were they Needed it Most

The world #103, Jack Sock, is obviously not as strong a singles player as Tiafoe. However, he would probably have achieved the same result as Tiafoe in the two singles matches–losses to Tsitsipas and Federer.

The doubles World #2, Jack Sock, would have provided that doubles know-how and prowess to have beaten Sakkari and Tsitsipas. This would have been enough to have won the tie, instead of losing it like they did. There is no way of knowing what would have happened in the latest match against Federer and Bencic. There are plenty of reasons to think it would have been a great spectacle, one worthy of the first time two greats faced each other over the next. More soul-searching is needed for the USA in a team event–that is for sure.

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