We've come a long way from the 1973 match between aging antagonist Bobby Riggs and annoyed victor, Billie Jean King. King's win mirrored the exploding women's liberation movement and foretold an underrated Steve Carrell, Emma Stone flick. But on New Year's Day the greatest tennis player in history will face Roger Federer in Perth, Australia at the Hopman Open, according to Tennis.com.
"You know, I’ve been training in the offseason to be ready for Roger," Serena Williams said of the match where she'll be paired with Francis Tiafoe against Federer and Belinda Bencic. "I’m not sure how I’m going to do, but we’ll see."
Federer's 20 Grand Slam singles titles are the most in tennis history, while Serena holds the women’s record in the Open Era with 23, but she trails Margaret Court's all-time record of 24.
"It’s just very exciting for both of us," Federer said of the match. "I hope that a lot of tennis fans are going to tune in and watch it, because it’s going to be one time and probably never again in this kind of a competition."
Eurosport is showing the Hopman Cup this week in the lead up to the Australian Open. The anticipated doubles match—after both players play in the morning—should air around 12:30 p.m. EST on Eurosport 2. You can stream the mixed doubles match through Sky Go or the Eurosport Player, and probably some illegal streams you can find with some adroit Googles.
Federer's appreciation for Williams' game stands in stark contrast to the buffoonish misogyny (that was part shtick) of Riggs.
"I admire everything she’s done on and off the court," Federer said of Serena. "We can relate to one another now being parents, even more so beside the fact that we’ve won a lot, we’re both fierce competitors, and we always want to win and always try our best...[Serena's] one of the biggest champions ever in our sport, men and women combined."