THE crowd of more than 51,945 people at last weekend’s Match in Africa – which saw Roger Federer take on Rafael Nadal in a charity match in Cape Town – set a new world record for the largest attendance at a tennis match.
The sixth Match in Africa – and first held on the continent – raised $3.5 million for the charitable Roger Federer Foundation.
The atmosphere in the capacity stands was electric as Bill Gates and Trever Noah joined the two champions for a curtain-raising doubles match, with Federer and Gates facing off against Nadal and Noah. Fans were ecstatic to see Trevor Noah back on home soil as both he and Bill Gates convincingly proved that there’s more to them than their less sporty day jobs and that they were fully committed to a good cause.
The Match in Africa also showcased a host of local talent in between the matches, which kept the excitement high, including the legendary Ndlovu Youth Choir and the energetic Zip Zap Circus – a Cape Town-based social circus that was founded to inspire young people and to help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa.
All the net proceeds generated by The Match in Africa will be donated to the Roger Federer Foundation, to support education in rural South Africa. The Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting education programmes for over 16 years and has invested extensively in educational initiatives throughout Africa.
Following the match, Roger Federer said: ‘What an unforgettable night. We raised more than three-and-a-half million US dollars for vulnerable children in the region, achieved a world record with more than 51,945spectators at a tennis match and had so much fun on the court. Thanks, Rafa for a great match, to Bill and Trevor for stepping out of their comfort zones, and most of all, thank you, South Africa, and thank you Cape Town, for all your overwhelming support and for making a difference to those who need it most.’