On this day, two years ago, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal made history in Cape Town. In November 2019, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev played an exhibition match in Mexico City at the impressive Plaza de Toros bullring in front of 42,517, setting the world record for attendance at a tennis match.
As it turned out, the achievement was kept alive for less than three months, as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal raised the bar to a higher level in Cape Town on Friday 7th, 2020. As part of the Match fro Africa 6, Roger and Rafa battled it out at the Cape Town Stadium in front of a crowd of 51,954, setting a new world record that will be hard to break in the future.
The first Match in Africa took place in Zurich in 2010, and Roger and Rafa were the main protagonists. Two legends came together a decade later to share their passion for the sport with the people of South Africa, a land of Roger's mother where he had never competed before.
It all happened for a good cause, raising money for the Roger Federer organization. The event brought together Bill Gates and Trevor Noah, who shared the court with the legends in the doubles clash that served as an introduction to the main action between the 39-time Major champions.
Federer defeated Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in an hour and 45 minutes, maintaining his perfect record in the event after beating Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, John Isner and Jack Sock in the meetings between these two against Rafe.
Preparing for months, both players agreed to play on February 7, wrapping up their Australian Open duties and reuniting in South Africa for one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Karatsev reflects on Roger Federer
In a recent interview at the Maharashtra Open 2022, World No.
14 Aslan Karatsev revealed that Roger Federer "inspires" him the most. "I would go with Roger Federer. Because he showed fantastic tennis even in this age. I was practicing with him a couple of times. Still, the way how he plays, how he feels the ball, and how he moves is something another level," said Karatsev.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Karatsev has showered huge praise on Federer. In an earlier interview in 2021, calling the Swiss Maestro his "childhood idol," the Russian player seemed absolutely shocked by his fitness.
He even expressed his desire to "face him" on the court once. "His game is unique. He was my childhood idol. The way Roger stays fit is amazing. I do not know how he is able to do it. He is 40 and still moves very well! I would like to face him," stated the Russian back then.