'Rafael Nadal cried when I won Roland Garros,' great rival recalls

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'Rafael Nadal cried when I won Roland Garros,' great rival recalls

Ever since Miami 2004, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been among the biggest rivals in tennis history. Two giants have shared the court numerous times worldwide and fought for the most prominent titles of our sport for 15 years.

In 2010, Roger and Rafa were involved in the first Match in Africa, an exhibition match to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation. Federer and Nadal have worked together many times at numerous charity actions, and their latest project came in February last year at the sixth Match in Africa.

On February 7, Roger and Rafa met in Cape Town in front a crowd of nearly 52,000, setting the world record and giving their fans something to cheer about. It was the first Match in Africa held on the African continent. The record-breaking crowd watched Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Bill Gates and Trevor Noah having fun on the court during two matches and gathering over $3,5 million for unprivileged kids.

Before the main encounter, Federer revealed that Nadal admitted to him he cried when the Swiss claimed that elusive Roland Garros crown in 2009, completing a Career Grand Slam just 15 months before Rafa himself and securing a place among tennis immortals.

Robin Soderling defeated Nadal in the fourth round and reached the title clash, losing it to Roger, who wrote history books after his first and only triumph in Paris.

Roger Federer revealed an interesting story in Cape Town last year.

"The Match in Africa is essential for me because it is for a great cause.

I started my foundation when I was 22, and I remember being shy of my philanthropic world. Then, the first Match in Africa came in 2010 against Rafa in Zurich, and it was an instant success. I went to Madrid the next day to help his foundation as well.

This is the sixth edition of the Match in Africa, in Cape Town, at this beautiful Stadium, connecting Bill Gates, Trevor Noah and Rafael Nadal and making this event special. It will make a big difference in children's lives, and, as you can imagine, this Match in Africa takes place in Africa, and it means a world to me; I appreciate it and will never forget it.

Rafa and I are friends and rivals; he is a great person with great values and family. Today, he told me he cried for me when I won my French Open in 2009, being so happy for me. Rafa has promoted the sport in the best possible way; I'm sure many of you are here to cheer for him, and he deserves that and much more, being a great person and a player," Roger Federer said.