ATP Tour

Federer in Namibia, Nadal in Kuwait, but both heading for SA

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (AFP)
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Cape Town - Tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are making their respective ways to South Africa for their much-anticipated Match in Africa clash at Cape Town Stadium.

READ | Trevor Noah confirms he'll be Rafael Nadal's partner at Match in Africa

Having completed their commitments at the year's opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open in Melbourne, the pair have taken very different routes to the Mother City for the sixth instalment in the Match for Africa series.

Federer, who lost in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, took to Instagram on Tuesday to post that he'd arrived in Johannesburg, but was headed to Namibia for a Roger Federer Foundation site visit.

Nadal, who was bundled out in the quarter-finals Down Under, also took to social media on Tuesday, to confirm he was opening a Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait and would be playing an exhibition match against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Wednesday.

Federer, winner of a record 20 Grand Slams and owner of 103 ATP titles, will play his great friend and rival Nadal, whose CV boasts 19 Grand Slams and 84 career victories at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday.

In addition to the clash between two of tennis' greatest ever exponents, there will be a doubles match featuring on one side of the net Nadal and SA funny man Trevor Noah, while opposing them shall be Federer and Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates

Federer recently confirmed on Twitter that he and Gates have picked #Gateserer as the name for their pairing.

The concept behind the Match for Africa series is to help raise funds for the Roger Federer Foundation which in turn engages in charitable programmes in Africa and Switzerland - and has done so for more than 16 years. 

The foundation, which has a specific focus on education, transport and food, has benefitted over 1.5 million children in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Switzerland to date.

In addition to raising further funds for the Roger Federer Foundation, the clash at Cape Town Stadium - which was built to host matches during the 2010 Soccer World Cup - is aiming to break the word record for the most-attended tennis match in history. 

The current record was set in November 2019 when Federer defeated Germany's Alexander Zverev in Mexico City in front of 42 517 fans.

However, according to organisers of Friday's match, as many as 50 000 spectators are expected to file their way through the turnstiles in Cape Town.

The doubles match will start at 19:30, with the Federer v Nadal clash due to commence at 20:30.

Both matches will be screened live on SuperSport 1.

ALSO READ | #FEDAL: Match in Africa brings tennis greats together

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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