Federer and Nadal raise millions for charity

2010-12-22 12:50

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be hoping to duplicate the runaway success of their Tuesday night exhibition in Zurich in which more than $2.5 million (about R17 million) was raised for the Swiss player’s personal foundation.

The one-two philanthropic punch was being repeated today in Madrid, with Nadal’s children’s charity receiving the benefits.

The pre-Christmas matches were at least the third set of goodwill gestures this season from number one Nadal and his second-ranked rival Federer. The elite pair also played in fund-raising exhibitions this year at the Australian Open in aid of the Haiti earthquake victims and at Indian Wells in March for Chilean earthquake victims.

Federer and Nadal, plus their various handlers and agents are donating all proceeds to the two charities, with no professional fees involved. Around 10 000 tickets for each match sold out within minutes of going online.

“Both of us realise we are in a very privileged position, where we have everything in life. The least we can do is to help people who are in difficulty,” said Nadal after “losing” 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to his friendly rival in snowy Zurich.

Before the match, Federer had been looking to raise around $1 million, a target which was easily surpassed.

“When you can help 1 500 children to go to school, it’s great but you need a lot around it: how do the children get to school, what do they eat at school, do they have toilets... and that’s where we come in,” Federer told Swiss television.

Federer and Nadal last played on the ATP barely three weeks ago, with the Swiss winning their final at the season-ending ATP event in London. The pair were due to face off in the Emirates Challenge Cup exhibition in Abu Dhabi over the New Year weekend.

Federer arrived in Zurich on Sunday from his training base in Dubai and picked Nadal up at the airport in a flash red Mercedes SLS AMG when his opponent arrived in Zurich yesterday.

The Swiss will escape winter in Europe as he returns to his family in Dubai for a last week of holidays before starting the 2011 season.

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