How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal made history in Cape Town
An exhibition match between Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev in Mexico City’s Plaza de Toros bullring in November 2019 drew 42,517 spectators. But it was nothing like what he had in Cape Town with Rafael Nadal.
Then, it went down as the world’s largest tennis match. However, the record stood for less than three months before Federer and Nadal raised the mark once again in Cape Town on Friday, July 7, 2020.
Roger Federer Vs Rafael Nadal in Cape Town
In front of a record-breaking crowd of 51,954, Federer and Nadal battled it out in Cape Town Stadium as part of Match in Africa 6, setting a new world record! This was the second time in 10 years that both 20-time Grand Slam champions were facing off yet again.
The first time they played each other was in Zurich in 2010. The South African match was his first on African soil.
More than a decade later, the two legends reunited in South Africa where Federer’s mother was born. Federer playing here was of sentimental value to him. It was time for him to share the love of the game with South Africans.
Since the Cape Town match, Federer and Nadal have maintained their world-record-setting performance. Federer’s foundation and Bill Gates and Trevor Noah shared the court in a doubles match that was a prelude to the main event between him and Nadal.
Of course, it was all for a good cause!
Roger Federer Beats Rafel Nadal in Cape Town
Federer defeated Nadal in three sets to maintain his perfect record in the Africa Cup of Nations. He beat Nadal6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted for one hour and 45 minutes.
His Match in Africa 6 victory elevated his status after beating Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, John Isner, and Jack Sock in previous matches.
Both players had just completed the Australian Open and agreed to test their wit in South Africa.
And when it was time to get down to business, the Swiss got off to a fast start in the first set, winning 6-4 in just 38 minutes.
A volley winner at the net by Federer gave him a 1-0 lead in the second set. He followed it up with a rapid net push for a break and an early lead. Despite having a breakpoint in the eighth game, Federer held the love and took the first game.
Federer broke twice in the second set to establish a 4-1 lead. He lost a set point on the return at 5-2, then won the set 6-3 on his serve. Game nine of the third set was a nail-biter for the Swiss.
But they fought off a breakpoint to secure the deal with a half-volley winner in Cape Town. In general, 2020 was a good year for Federer but 2021 hasn’t been fair to him.
Roger Federer Injuries 2021
Federer played only 13 matches before undergoing two surgeries that left him benched.
In August 2021, Federer came clean with his fans confessing that he is not getting back to the court soon as he is scheduled for more knee surgery. This news broke the tennis world as he self-confessed that the knee issue will keep him off from the game for many months.
“I will be on crutches for many weeks and out of the game for many months,” he told his fans.
However, he was optimistic that he will get better and make full recovery. The Swiss tennis star is upbeat about regaining his fitness.
He maintained that it is difficult to go through such surgery at his age but is hopeful all will be well.
In September, the Swiss said that his rehab was going on well, a sign that he is set for a proper comeback. The 20-time Grand Slam winner is now taking it a step at a time saying “every day is a better day” when you come from an injury.
2022 Australian Open
Federer could miss out on the 2022 Australian Open in order to make full recovery, his coach Ivan Ljubicic says. Ljubicic last month said that the Swiss is determined to make an appearance in the court when his injury heals completely.
Given his age, the knee injury is taking longer to heal. Federer does not want to gamble with his wellbeing though he has expressed optimism in the Australian Open.