In November 2019, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev played an exhibition match in Mexico City. The two stars broke the world attendance record in a tennis match, playing in front of 42,517 fans at the stunning Plaza de Toros arena.
As attractive as it is, this record has remained in place for less than three months. Tennis giants Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal raised the bar to a new level in Cape Town on February 7, 2020, making it into the history books as many times as in the previous 15 years.
As part of Match in Africa 6, Roger and Rafa faced off at Cape Town Stadium in front of a crowd of 51,954, setting a new world record that will be hard to beat in the future.
Ten years after the first Match in Africa, the two legends have joined forces to share their passion for the sport with the people of South Africa, the country where Roger’s mother had never competed before.
Federer sends signed racquet to Nadal
Of course, it was all done for a good cause, to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation with Bill Gates and Trevor Noah sharing the field with them in the doubles challenge.
In a singles match between 39-time major tournament winners, Federer beat Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes. Thus, Roger retained his excellent record in the African Match after defeating Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, John Isner and Jack Sock.
After months of preparation, both players agreed to play on February 7 following their Australian Open commitments. They met in South Africa for one of the most important sporting events of the year.
Two days ago, Nadal opened the Rafa Nadal complex in Kuwait and traveled to Cape Town to share the glorious moment with his rival, whom he has fought 40 times worldwide since 2004.
Federer can’t thank Nadal enough for all his hard work and the long trip to South Africa after a tough January in Australia. He sent a signed racket to his friend and opponent at the Match in Africa event.
The racket is proudly displayed at the Rafael Nadal museum in Mallorca, along with the Spanish player’s most important trophies and other memorabilia from their encounter with Roger. Two and a half years later, Roger and Rafa found themselves on the same side of the pitch, and the Swiss ended their spectacular Laver Cup career in September.
He chose Nadal as his partner, gave himself one last chance and made tennis history.