- Roger Federer defeated Serena Williams in a mixed doubles match on New Year’s Day.
- After the match, the two tennis greats gave an on-court interview, then took a selfie.
- The selfie saw them holding two of Federer’s black Wilson tennis rackets, one of which he gifted to Williams.
- However, he said she gave it back to him as she “wasn’t sure if she was actually allowed to keep it.”
- He made it clear it was a gift, and gave it back to her again – but she didn’t return the gesture.
Roger Federer gifted fellow tennis great Serena Williams one of his famous Wilson rackets after beating her in their New Year’s Day showdown– but he says she gave it back because she “wasn’t sure if she was allowed to keep it.”
Federer teamed up with Switzerland teammate Belinda Bencic to defeat Williams and fellow American Frances Tiafoe in a mixed doubles Hopman Cup decider in Perth, Australia on Tuesday.
After the result – Federer and Bencic prevailed in straight sets with scores of 4-2 and 4-3 – was announced, the pair gave an on-court interview in which Williams hailed Federer as “the greatest of all time.”
After the interview, the pair went to grab their rackets before taking an on-court selfie (pictured above) – but since Williams’ bags had already disappeared, Federer handed her one of his own black Wilson rackets, joking: “You can borrow one of mine.”
While he says he told Williams to keep the racket as a gift, she apparently tried to give it back.
When asked about the incident in a post-match press conference after his straight-sets victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday, Federer said: “She gave it back to me and said she wasn’t sure if she was actually allowed to keep it, and I said ‘It is for you,’ so I gave it back again. So it’s moved around a little bit, but it’s definitely hers.
“I don’t know exactly where it is now or if she’s left already or not, but it’s hers, yes.”
When asked if Williams had gifted one back, he said: “No, but that’s her choice. I’m OK either way, but this was not to get a racket from her, this was just a spontaneous ‘Why don’t you keep the racket?’ because her coach had already taken all her bags off the court, which I couldn’t believe… It’s quite a service.”
Switzerland’s Federer and Bencic will take on Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev in the Hopman Cup final on Saturday.
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