Roger Federer: 'Rafael Nadal cried when I won the French Open in 2009'



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Roger Federer: 'Rafael Nadal cried when I won the French Open in 2009'

Ever since Miami 2004, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been among the biggest rivals in the history of tennis, sharing the court numerous time all over the world and fighting for the most prominent titles of our sport.

Back in 2010, Roger and Rafa were involved in the first Match in Africa, an exhibition match to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation, working together ever since and stepping on the court in Cape Town in front of the crowd of 52,000 in the sixth edition of Match in Africa.

Staged at the Cape Town Stadium, it was the first Match in Africa held on the African continent, with the record-breaking crowd watching Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Bill Gates and Trevor Noah having fun on the court and gathering more than $3,5 million for unprivileged kids.

Before the main match, Roger Federer said 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.

"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 on the next day to help his foundation as well.

Now, 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 so special. This will make a big difference in children's lives and, as you can imagine, this Match in Africa that actually takes place in Africa and it means a world to me; I appreciate it and will never forget it.

Rafa and I are both friends and rivals; he is a great person with great values and family. He told me today he cried for me when I won my French Open in 2009, being so happy for me. I know he has spent the entire career with me on the other side of the net while I experienced a couple of years without him, which was nice with Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi still around.

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."