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It was an African Dream in Cape Town tonight, 7 Feb 2020… as a world record-breaking crowd of 51,934 spectators were moved to tears of joy and pride as South Africa hosted Roger Federer’s Match in Africa.

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Roger Federer, Trevor Noah, Rafael Nadal and Bill Gates in Cape Town tonight. Photo: FB/Roger Federer

Late Friday night, Federer posted a message on Facebook saying: “It was always a dream of mine to play in South Africa for my foundation.”

Federer’s mother Lynette is an SA expat who grew up in Kempton Park, and Federer grew up having holidays to South Africa. Tonight his Afrikaans-speaking mother (67) stepped onto the court to toss the coin (and gave both her son and Nadal a hug).

Addressing the stadium, she said: “We love the people, we love the country, we just love you all.”

An elated Federer said: “I am so proud to say we raised over $3 million this evening???✅ #worldrecord #southafrica.” (It’s far beyond the $1 million he was hoping for.)

The tennis legend thanked Spain’s Rafael Nadal (the world number one player), South African comedian Trevor Noah and Microsoft founder Bill Gates for their “support of this incredible event”. Noah and Nadal lost to Federer and Gates in a celebrity knock before the main match.

Federer beat Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in what Nadal said was a “lifetime experience”. Nadal said: “It was a big pleasure for me to be part of it. Thanks everybody for supporting and for making this day very, very special.”

It was an unforgettable evening for South Africa from start to finish. The Ndlovu Youth Choir began the evening with ‘African Dream’ while Zip Zap Circus children performed.

Later Springbok captain Siya Kolisi received a huge cheer from the audience when he stepped onto the court to toss the coin.

Kolisi presented Federer with his own Springboks jersey. (Their bromance began during the Rugby World Cup when Federer sent Kolisi and the Springboks a message of support.)

And finally, Trevor Noah reminded the euphoric crowd: “It’s events like these that remind South Africans of what we can do in the world.”


Selfies before the match:

Pre-game meal ??✅ who’s the favorite Gateserer or Nsquared?? @ Cape Town Stadium

Posted by Roger Federer on Friday, February 7, 2020

Roger’s family at the stadium:

Federer on Nadal: