The match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is officially in the books as the most visited tennis match ever. Around 48,000 spectators will be present at the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on Friday evening at the party that is currently still in the works.
The 38-year-old Federer won the first set in the South African city with 6-4 from his Spanish rival, five years younger. The second set is now in progress.
The previous record was 42,517 spectators and that was set in November of last year in Mexico City at a demonstration match between Federer and Alexander Zverev. The duel at the Cape Town Stadium, where the Dutch team was too strong for Uruguay in 2010 in the semifinals of the World Cup with 3-2, went well beyond that.
The so-called Match in Africa is not just about the record on Friday evening, but also about raising money for the Roger Federer Foundation, which offers underprivileged children in Africa education.
The best photos of the Federer-Nadal record duel
Federer formed a couple with multi-billionaire Bill Gates. © Pro Shots
Rafael Nadal played with presenter Trevor Noah. © Reuters
The game was played at the Cape Town Stadium, where the Dutch national team was too strong in 2010 in the semi-finals of the World Cup 3-2 for Uruguay, © Pro Shots
At the single game, Federer took the first set 6-4. © Pro Shots
Federer doubles with Bill Gates
Federer and Nadal do a lot to entertain the 48,000 tennis fans. They first played a double game, in which the American multi-billionaire Bill Gates stood by the side of the Swiss and the South African comedian Trevor Noah, best known as presenter of The Daily Show, formed a duo with the Spaniard. Federer and Gates won 6-3, although there was no serious game.
An hour later, Federer and Nadal once again took to the road for their ankle game. Twenty-fold Grand Slam winner Federer needed an early break to take the first set.
It was a dream for Federer to play in South Africa once and that dream has now come true. The mother of the current number three in the world is South African.