Federer & Nadal Raise More Than $3 Million In Match In Africa 6
Every time Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play is a special occasion. But the Match in Africa 6, held on Friday in South Africa’s Cape Town Stadium to benefit children’s education in Africa, was particularly special.
Federer defeated Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in front of 51,954 people, a record number of spectators for any tennis match. But the real winners were those who will benefit from what Federer announced on social media was more than $3 million in funds raised on the evening.
“It was such a privilege to be here tonight. Of course we want to try to play the best tennis we can, that’s what we’re world-famous for. It was an absolute pleasure to share the court with Rafa again, but the first time here in beautiful Cape Town in South Africa means so much more. It really is very, very special on so many levels,” Federer said on court after the match, “This is so much more than just tennis. I really hope we can do it again. I hope Rafa can do it again one day, come back to this beautiful country. I’m so proud to have roots down here and thank you very much for coming everybody. It really is so, so special.”
This was the first Match for Africa to take place in Africa, and Nadal was thrilled to support a good cause. Playing in front of more than 50,000 people made it even more unforgettable for the Spaniard.
“We tried our best as always. The energy has been just fantastic. I think we can’t describe our feelings. It’s a lifetime experience playing here in front of such an amazing crowd, such an amazing stadium. It’s not my first time playing here in South Africa, I played when I was a kid. But it’s my first time as a professional player,” Nadal said. “I just can say well-done to Roger and all his family, all his team, because the organisation of this event has been just fantastic. It has been a big pleasure for me to be part of it.”
Before Federer and Nadal competed in singles, Federer and Bill Gates teamed against Nadal and Trevor Noah in a special doubles exhibition, with Federer and Gates triumphing 6-3.
“The three people I played with I really admire,” Gates said. “Tennis is an incredible hobby. I encourage everybody to try it, so this was unforgettable.”
Noah, a comedian, is from South Africa. So he was excited to put on a show in front of a record crowd in his home country.
“To be in South Africa, my home, the country that lifted me into the world, to be playing with Bill Gates, a man who invented an operating system that changed my life and took me into the world, to be playing against two of the greatest tennis players in not just our lifetime but possibly all-time in one of the greatest cities in the world, is truly an experience I don’t even think I could fully comprehend and absorb right now,” Noah said. “I think events like these remind South Africans what we’re capable of, it reminds me of the magic we can achieve. We come together when sports are being played and I think we need to keep this energy as a nation because this is where we need to move forward to.
"We need to keep excelling, we need to keep getting better, we need to keep thriving, we need to keep striving to get better as a country and nights like tonight remind us of what we can do as a country.”
The more than $3 million will go towards the Roger Federer Foundation, which has been actively helping kids get off to a good start in their educational journeys for more than 16 years.
"It’s great for tennis, it’s great for charity, it’s great to inspire and motivate kids and other people to do good and he’s a kind man, Rafa," Federer said. "You were kind enough to come here tonight. So did Bill, so did Trevor, and it was a magical evening. Thank you so, so much."