Swiss champion Roger Federer kept up his impressive early season form after another flawless week of singles performances at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth - as he declared Novak Djokovic the man to beat at the Australian Open.
The win gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie - enough to book them a spot in Saturday's final given they already beat Great Britain (3-0) and the USA (2-1) earlier in the tournament.
However, a bad service game in the seventh game of the opening set handed the early ascendancy to Kerber, who won the first set in 32 minutes, and then snared an early break in the second set.
However, the Swiss claimed a tight 4-0 1-4 4-3 (5-4) win in the mixed doubles to claim their fourth Hopman Cup title.
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Thanks to the Fast4 format, the final match culminated in a championship point for both teams simultaneously: At 4-4 in the third-set tiebreak between Switzerland and Germany, it was truly victor take all.
Switzerland are the defending champions, with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic keen to add a second straight title. Then Bencic played a couple of weak net shots to put Federer in trouble on serve, and the Germans were swift to take advantage with a sizzling return to break, 4-1.
Zverev had a glimmer of hope in the first game of the second set, 0-30, and two deuces, but the Federer serving was just too good.
Zverev had evened up the head-to-head stats with Fed last year with some decisive victories, especially finishing up the year at the ATP Finals event as the victor.
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"I'm one of the top 10 favourites and so are many others", he said.
Kerber had two match points at 6-4 in the tie-break, but Bencic again hung on grimly and won the next two points.
Under the short sets format, the match is decided by a winner-takes-all point if scores are locked at 4-4 in the third-set tiebreak.
This year's Hopman Cup had record attendance and also featured the never-before-seen matchup between 37-year-old GOAT's Federer and Serena Williams in another mixed doubles match.
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"I am very happy for these records, although I didn't come here for that", he said. The last point was won by Sakkari that surprised Federer with a fantastic backhand and Stefanos couldn't contain his joy repeatedly hug and kiss Maria on court.