ROGER FEDERER NEWS
February 7, 2020, Cape Town, Africa - A dream comes true
20-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer will play his first-ever match in Sub Saharan Africa in Cape Town on Friday, February 7, 2020. Federer’s opponent will be 19-time Grand Slam Champion and rival Rafael Nadal.
The match will be played to support children’s education in Africa. It will be the 6th edition of this event, but the first to be played in Africa. SO far, the series has raised more than 10 million USD (135 million ZAR) for the Roger Federer Foundation. The Match in Africa will be very special for another reason: the spectacular arena on the Atlantic coast has a seating capacity of more than 50’000 people and will be the perfect venue to attempt to also set a new world record for the most spectators to watch a tennis match.
“This Match in Africa is a dream comes true,” said Federer. “I will play in my mother’s home country against my toughest rival and friend Rafa Nadal. We share not only the love for tennis but also for the good cause of giving children a better start in education and in life. I feel privileged to entertain millions of people in the stadium and on TV. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment for my family and I.”
Rafael Nadal said: “Roger and I have shared so many magical moments on and off the court. Travelling with him to Cape Town and playing for the benefit of children is something I am very excited about. It will be my first time in the region with Roger as a tour guide – that will be fun.”
Celebrity guests Bill Gates and Trevor Noah will also take to the court in a celebrity-pro doubles match with Federer and Nadal. Entertainment will be provided by the Zip Zap Circus School, a Non-Profit organisation based in Cape Town, a social programme to inspire young people, help to build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa and working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds.
You can view the event for free on Tennis TV: https://www.tennistv.com/tournaments/2020/the-match-in-africa
The defending champion proved to be too tough for Roger in his 46th major semifinal match.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner kept the pressure on and pushed the first set to a breaker, however it just wasn't enough to beat the solid Serbian, Novak Djokovic, as he defended his title. While it was obvious Roger wasn't feeling 100% he still fought yet Djokovic won the match 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3 and will play Dominic Thiem in the Finals.
Despite the loss, the Swiss star becomes the 4th oldest to get to the semifinals in a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Roger had to fight off 7 match points and push his opponent to 5 sets to earn his spot in the 2020 Australian Open Semifinals.
In a match filled with drama, tennis, injuries and more, the 20-time Grand Slam winner leaned on experience to get through his match against American, Tennys Sandgren. Unbeaten in Australian Open Quarterfinals, he won the match 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3.
”You’ve got to get lucky sometimes,” Roger said after his win. “I was just hoping that maybe he wasn’t going to smash a winner, if he misses one or two [match points], who knows what’s going to happen? I think I got incredibly lucky today. As the match went on, I started to feel better and just tried to play. I believe in miracles. There could be rain… Just let him finish me off in style, and he didn’t do that. I’m still standing here and obviously just very happy.”
He will face Novak Djokovic next.
The third round match up between 20-time Grand Slam winner and Aussie, John Millman, proved to be as good as anyone could expect! Having lost to Millman in a Grand Slam previously, Roger took the court knowing he was facing a dangerous opponent.
While his first two matches were near-flawless, Millman pushed the Swiss Star and errors were coming a bit more frequently. Roger was able to weather the storm and capture the win once the match was pushed to a deciding 10-point tiebreaker in the final 5th set. Roger found himself down 4-8 in the breaker but played smart tennis and dug in avoiding any mistakes. He won six points in a row to take the win 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) after four hours of play.
Roger had 62 winners, 16 aces but also 82 unforced errors.
“Oh God, it was tough," he said during his post-match interview. "Thank God it was a Match Tie-break, otherwise I would have lost this one. Where to start? I think John played a great match… He is a great fighter, a good guy and it came down to the wire at the end. A bit of luck maybe goes one way. I had to stay so focused, take the right decision. He was doing all that stuff at the beginning of the Match Tie-break, coming up with the goods and I thought, ‘Okay, I guess I tried.’ I didn’t play too bad after all and I was getting ready to explain myself in the press conference… What a match and John deserves over half of this one.”