The record-breaking clash between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Cape Town will go to the distance, with the Spaniard taking the second set 6-3 to stay on the winning trail. Rafa forced an error from Roger in the opening game of the second set to avoid the destiny from the opener, kicking off the second game with a backhand down the line winner and securing a break in the next game after a loose forehand from Federer that sent him 2-0 up.
A return winner gave Roger a break chance in game three that he seized thanks to a weak forehand from Rafa at the net, reducing the deficit to a 2-1 and getting back to the positive side of the scoreboard. Federer missed a routine forehand in the fourth game to face another break chance, repelling it with a sharp volley winner before Rafa grabbed another break opportunity when he painted a forehand down the line winner.
The Spaniard converted this one to open another lead, landing a forehand crosscourt winner a few minutes later to confirm the advantage and move 4-1 ahead. At 15-40 in the sixth game, kids stepped in to replace the legends and exchange a couple of balls before Federer repelled two break chances with good serves, hitting a forehand winner for an advantage and securing the game with another one to stay in contention, having one break of serve to chase.
The Spaniard was in a much better rhythm in those moments, landing a service winner for a hold at 15 and a 5-2 lead, forcing Federer to serve for staying in the set in the next game. During the break, Rafa spoke with his doubles partner Trevor Noah, sharing his excitement for being involved in such a great project and hoping to prolong the clash into the third set.
Federer saved set points in the eighth game to stay alive but only until the next game, spraying a forehand error and allowing Rafa to take the set 6-3 and force a decider.