Greetings sports fans and welcome once again the Vegas Valley Sports Beat. The little sports column your mother warned you about and yet here you are, hopefully, reading it once more and not just looking at the pictures.

It’s a  beautiful, sun-dappled New Year’s day in lovely Las Vegas the sun is just now rising over the Spring Mountains and the birds are still tucked snug in their nests if they have any sense at all because it is bone-chillingly cold out in the Vegas valley this morning.

The entire world seems to be awakening to a whole new day and a whole new way of thinking and being. Human kindness has gone viral despite all the reports of its demise. That is one thing I for one would not mind seeing become pandemic overnight.

But I digress.

Let us turn our attention now, back to the wide world of sports, and the imminent meeting of two talented people who are undeniably center court royalty. Arguably both players can claim the right to the throne as king or Queen, as the case may be, having both reached the distinction of being the only two people in the Open Tournament era to win at least 43 Grand Slam titles between them.




Roger Federer comes into the match this morning boasting 20 of those titles as of the end of 2018. While Serena Williams owns the largest claim to Queen of Courts, brings 23 titles to the table at the end of her own special year.

This bright beautiful morning they face one another across the net for the first time in two storied careers that includes a certain amount of bad blood that has previously been shared between them.

Hopefully, for the sake of tennis aficionados and sports fans, in general, these two Grand Champions will take only as much of that ire onto the court this morning to make it interesting and let the rest go under the bridge for the sake of the sport.

Anger is a disease that has no place in the heart of a true champion and no place whatsoever in sports. If that’s the case boxing might be their better choice until someone beats that anger back out of them again.

But there I go digressing again.


Roger Federer defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-1 in singles play before Serena Williams took the court and defeated Belinda Bencic to set up this long-awaited Rumble Royale between Williams and Federer in the Hopman Cup’s deciding mixed doubles match in Perth, Australia this morning.

The Hopman Cup is comprised of two singles and one mixed doubles tournament of national champions paired in the final match through a round-robin elimination that seeds two groups of four. The two groups that win will play one another Saturday for the final and the Hopman Cup itself.

The players are expected to take to the court at 1pm UK time for the deciding match but it is expected the match won’t take as long as many might hope.  Mixed doubles deciding match in the Hopman Cup is played in a format of short sets which is as follows:

  • Best of three-sets
  • A set is complete when a team reaches four games
  • No advantage scoring
  • A tie-break is played when the score reaches three-all
  • In the short form tie-break the team that wins five points wins the set, with a deciding point at three-all.

The match today sees Roger Federer and Bernice Bencic paired together as the defending winners of the Hopman Cup in mixed doubles from January 2018. Let the games begin and may the best always win.

Happy New Year make it a blessed one.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images