Landed in South Africa for a special cause, Tennis legend Roger Federer received a warm welcome in Cape Town as he was greeted with a warm embrace by SA Rugby team skipper Siya Kolisi on Thursday. The 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is back in South Africa to play an exhibition match – ‘Match in Africa’ against his greatest rival at Cape Town Stadium on Friday (February 7).
In his special meeting with Springboks – the commonly used name for South African national rugby union team – captain Kolisi, Federer played a little bit of tennis at a sponsor’s event. And despite sporting a knee leg brace, the World Cup-winning player Kolisi didn’t do too badly. The 28-year-old South African shared the pictures of his meeting with Tennis great on his Instagram account, saying: “What a pleasure @rogerfedererA true sporting icon. Your words continue to inspire me and have been an important part of my journey. It was an honour to welcome you to Cape Town.”
Kolisi also posted a video of his net exchange with Federer on Twitter, where he kept the first rally going for a while before having to stretch down low, which saw him find the net. But Kolisi quickly got another exchange going, and this time it was Federer who hit the net tape.
Match in Africa
Federer is in South Africa to feature in a special encounter – ‘Match in Africa’, a charity event between himself and Rafael Nadal. The event is organised by Roger Federer Foundation that supports early childhood education in six African countries and Switzerland. The two tennis legends, who will be joined by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah.
It is expected that the event will raise more than $1 million (over R14 million). Organisers of the Match in Africa are hoping to fit as many as 50,000 fans into the stadium on Friday, which will break the world attendance record for a tennis match.
The record attendance of 42,517 fans in a Tennis game was set in November 2019 when Federer defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev in a bullring in Mexico City.