6 February 2020
A record crowd (51 954) welcomed two of the world’s greatest tennis players to Cape Town for the continent’s first ‘Match in Africa’ on Friday, 7 February 2020.
Held at the world-class Cape Town Stadium, the match saw 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer play his greatest rival, 19-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal. The game, the 38-year-old Swiss star’s first match in Sub Saharan Africa, was in aid of of the Roger Federer Foundation.
Speaking to ATP ahead of the match, Federer said: “This Match in Africa is a dream come true. 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 have other leading philanthropists on board 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.”
The match was preceded by a doubles match in which Federer partnered Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Nadal played alongside South African comedian Trevor Noah.
On Thursday, 6 February 2020, Federer posted a photo on Instagram of him alongside Nadal and Bill Gates in Cape Town.
Said Nadal: “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.”
The event was televised in North America, Brazil, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
The Ndlovu Youth Choir and the Zip Zap Circus provided the entertainment.