Game, set, match, SA: Match in Africa breaks tennis spectator record

Game, set, match, SA: Match in Africa breaks tennis spectator record

Game, set, match, SA: Match in Africa breaks tennis spectator record

The Match in Africa will raise proceeds for the Roger Federer Foundation, which provides educational and athletic programs to children in Africa.

"There's so much anticipation that goes into it that the match itself nearly gets forgotten", said Federer before the match. That objective was easily reached with the event raising around $3.5 million.

The now defunct South African Open was a frontline event on the tennis calendar in years gone by - there was even talk in the late 1970s and early 1980s of the event replacing the Australian Open as one of the official four Grand Slams.

A crowd of 51,954 spectators attended the Cape Town stadium on Friday night for the highly anticipated match in Africa, which Federer won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

'I hope I can still play for a bit longer, ' Federer said. However, Federer refused to lose on his return to his mother's country of birth and won the final set 6-3.

Also, it was a dream come true for Federer who played his first-ever match in South Africa, also the place where his mother was born. The Swiss great also called South Africa as his second home. Before the main match, Federer and Gates teamed up to beat Nadal and Noah 6-3 in a one-set doubles exhibition.

"We tried our best as always", Nadal said after the match, which he lost.

Federer pulled a couple of notable friends alongside Nadal to help out in the evening: Bill Gates and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

He stood next to Federer and they hugged.

Other well-known South African sports stars were the former Springbok captains John Smit and Jean de Villiers and the Olympic swimmer Ryk Neethling.

"Roger is at a disadvantage".

"On the road, I think we understand each other really, really well". From hereon, every time Nadal won a game, Federer bounced back with his aces and brilliant forehand to take the game, eventually winning the set and the match.

Truth be told, the kids didn't seem to know who the two sporting greats were, but the Simon Says activity and the reading session with their "tutors" went down a treat. When asked about Nadal's threat of tying and possibly breaking his Grand Slam record, Federer said he was not anxious.

Federer said he would be in the "region" for nearly a week and hoped to find time to explore and catch up with family as well as celebrate this incredible event. "I only watched on TV but it was an fantastic event and I'll never forget it". If he (Nadal) catches me, it's fine.

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