ROGER FEDERER NEWS
CAPE TOWN, 7 February 2020
It isn’t every day that we get to see two international tennis greats play on South African soil. But the crowd of 51,945 fans at Cape Town Stadium on 7 February were lucky enough to witness history in action, when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal went head-to-head in The Match in Africa, raising USD 3.5 million (approximately R54.6 million) for the charitable Roger Federer Foundation. TheMatch in Africa was the sixth edition of this event, but the first to take place on African soil. And the crowd of more than 51’945 people set a new world record for the largest attendance at a tennis match.
The atmosphere in the capacity stands was electric as Bill Gates and Trever Noah joined the two champions for a curtain-raising doubles match, with Federer and Gates facing off against Nadal and Noah. Fans were ecstatic to see Trevor Noah back on home soil as both he and Bill Gates convincingly proved that there’s more to them than their less sporty day jobs and that they were fully committed to a good cause.
The Match in Africa also showcased a host of local talent in between the matches, which kept excitement high, including the legendary Ndlovu Youth Choir and the energetic Zip Zap Circus – a Cape Town-based social circus that was founded to inspire young people andto help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did not disappoint, launching into an exciting rally of world-class tennis that had spectators on the edges of their seats.
After ahard-fought three Roger emerged as the winner of this round. But the players matched each other lobby forlobby and ace for ace throughout. The thundering contest was tense to the last minute. The event raised a total of USD 3.5 million (approximately R54.6 million). And all the net proceeds generated by The Match in Africa will be donated to the RogerFederer Foundation, to support education in rural South Africa.
The Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting education programmes for over 16 years and has invested extensively in educational initiatives throughout Africa.
Following the match, Roger Federer said, “What an unforgettable night. We raised more than three-and-a-half million US dollars for vulnerable children in the region, achieved a world record with more than 51’945spectators at a tennis match and had so much fun onthe court. Thanks, Rafa for a great match, to Billand Trevor for stepping out of their comfort zones, andmost of all, thank you, South Africa, and thank you Cape Town, for all your overwhelming support and for making a difference to those who need it most.”
February 7, 2020, Cape Town, Africa - A dream comes true
20-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer will play his first-ever match in Sub Saharan Africa in Cape Town on Friday, February 7, 2020. Federer’s opponent will be 19-time Grand Slam Champion and rival Rafael Nadal.
The match will be played to support children’s education in Africa. It will be the 6th edition of this event, but the first to be played in Africa. SO far, the series has raised more than 10 million USD (135 million ZAR) for the Roger Federer Foundation. The Match in Africa will be very special for another reason: the spectacular arena on the Atlantic coast has a seating capacity of more than 50’000 people and will be the perfect venue to attempt to also set a new world record for the most spectators to watch a tennis match.
“This Match in Africa is a dream comes true,” said Federer. “I will play in my mother’s home country against my toughest rival and friend Rafa Nadal. We share not only the love for tennis but also for the good cause of giving children a better start in education and in life. I feel privileged to entertain millions of people in the stadium and on TV. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment for my family and I.”
Rafael Nadal said: “Roger and I have shared so many magical moments on and off the court. Travelling with him to Cape Town and playing for the benefit of children is something I am very excited about. It will be my first time in the region with Roger as a tour guide – that will be fun.”
Celebrity guests Bill Gates and Trevor Noah will also take to the court in a celebrity-pro doubles match with Federer and Nadal. Entertainment will be provided by the Zip Zap Circus School, a Non-Profit organisation based in Cape Town, a social programme to inspire young people, help to build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa and working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds.
You can view the event for free on Tennis TV: https://www.tennistv.com/tournaments/2020/the-match-in-africa
The defending champion proved to be too tough for Roger in his 46th major semifinal match.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner kept the pressure on and pushed the first set to a breaker, however it just wasn't enough to beat the solid Serbian, Novak Djokovic, as he defended his title. While it was obvious Roger wasn't feeling 100% he still fought yet Djokovic won the match 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3 and will play Dominic Thiem in the Finals.
Despite the loss, the Swiss star becomes the 4th oldest to get to the semifinals in a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Roger had to fight off 7 match points and push his opponent to 5 sets to earn his spot in the 2020 Australian Open Semifinals.
In a match filled with drama, tennis, injuries and more, the 20-time Grand Slam winner leaned on experience to get through his match against American, Tennys Sandgren. Unbeaten in Australian Open Quarterfinals, he won the match 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3.
”You’ve got to get lucky sometimes,” Roger said after his win. “I was just hoping that maybe he wasn’t going to smash a winner, if he misses one or two [match points], who knows what’s going to happen? I think I got incredibly lucky today. As the match went on, I started to feel better and just tried to play. I believe in miracles. There could be rain… Just let him finish me off in style, and he didn’t do that. I’m still standing here and obviously just very happy.”
He will face Novak Djokovic next.