Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal entertained a record-breaking crowd of 51.954 at Cape Town Stadium for their Match in Africa charity exhibition.
Federer served nine aces as he defeated Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-3 in their match, and earlier the pair teamed up with Bill Gates and Trevor Noah respectively for a thrilling doubles showdown.
The Match In Africa exhibition raised money for the Roger Federer Foundation’s work supporting education in Africa. With Rolex as its top sponsor, the exhibition was aiming to raise $US1 million, but it raised $US3.5 million.
The event was an African sports celebration, with Springboks captain Siya Kolisi presenting Federer with a rugby jersey at the coin toss, which the Swiss Maestro proudly wore during his warm-ups.
“Definitely [on] Team Roger,” Kolisi said. “Sorry, Nadal, I love you, too.”
Federer was in a boisterous mood at the exhibition.
During his singles match he even humorously volunteered to be ball boy and allow two ball kids to instead have a rally in his and Nadal’s place.
In the doubles curtain-raiser Federer was also greatly amused by comedian Trevor Noah’s undies-picking, hair-fixing Nadal impersonation before serving.
The Spaniard and Noah lost their one-set match against Federer and Microsoft co-founder Gates 6-3.
“We tried our best as always,” Nadal said.
“It’s a lifetime experience playing in front of such an amazing crowd in an amazing stadium. It was a big pleasure for me to be part of it.”