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Roger Federer: My trip to Cape Town will always have a special place in my heart

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20 time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was reminiscing about the Match for Africa exhibition event in Cape Town, South Africa on his Instagram account on Thursday. The sixth edition of the Match for Africa series took place on 7 February 2020 in Cape Town and featured Federer and Rafael Nadal, along with American philanthropist Bill Gates and Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show.

South Africa is the birth country of Federer’s mother and also a major focus of his charitable foundation. The doubles saw Federer and Gates take on Nadal and Noah with Federer and Gates winning the match 6-4. Federer beat Nadal with the score 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the singles match.

The event was attended by 51,954 people – a new attendance record for a tennis match – and more than $3.5 million was raised in aid of children’s education in Africa. The 20 time Grand Slam champion, including a record 8 Wimbledon titles, posted an update on his Insta story saying – “My trip to beautiful Cape Town to play in front of a world record crowd for the people of South Africa will always have a special place in my heart #TripsChangeUs” Federer is currently in Switzerland, where he is recovering from the knee surgery he underwent in February and he is with his family during the current quarantine period.

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“Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Opens up on His Relationship With Rival Novak Djokovic

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Many tennis fans wonder how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic get along outside the tennis court. Their conduct towards each other on the tennis court is always respectful, and that translates outside the court as well, as admitted by Nadal. The Spaniard spoke about his relationship with Djokovic, whom he called a good person.

“I have a good relationship with him. Is a good person. We must relativize things between us,”  Nadal said, in a recent interview, throwing light on his camaraderie with Djokovic.

There was also speculation among fans as to what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spoke about at the end of their French Open 2020 final. Interestingly, it was one of the most one-sided battles they have played over the years. However, Nadal said that Djokovic, with whom he shares a strong relationship, simply congratulated him and nothing more.

Rafael Nadal understands why Novak Djokovic did not say much

I could not talk to him. He congratulated me on the track and that’s it. It is normal,” Nadal said. He said he understands that Djokovic was not in a mood to talk, as no one usually is, after a heartbreaking loss.

When you lose a game like that, you don’t really want to talk. I understand it,” Nadal added.

Nadal avenged his one-sided loss in the 2019 Australian Open final against Djokovic. The two men also shared a respectful exchange during the trophy ceremony post their match. Nadal lauded Djokovic and said he hopes to keep facing him, further adding to their already great rivalry.

What you’re doing in tennis is very very special. Hope to keep facing you [Djokovic] on the court for the next couple of years,” Nadal said to Djokovic.

The mutual respect between the two stars

Despite not having a conversation with Nadal after the match, Djokovic spoke highly of Nadal in his post-match presser. Djokovic highlighted why Nadal is a great champion. He also admitted that it was one of those days where Nadal was simply the better player and there was not much he could do to tame the ‘King of Clay’.

I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today,” he said.

The two champions are expected to resume their rivalry at the ATP Finals next month. While they will not face each other in the Round Robin stage, the anticipation of another Nadal-Djokovic final is already running high.

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