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Federer tops Nadal in ‘Match for Africa’

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Originally published on: 22/12/10 10:18

Roger Federer came from behind to defeat Rafael Nadal 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the first of two charity exhibitions at the Hallenstadion Arena in Zurich on Tuesday night.

The world’s top two players – who had duelled in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals less than four weeks earlier – put on a competitive show in the ‘Match For Africa’ exhibition in aid of the Roger Federer Foundation.

In a promotional video before the event, the Swiss had joked with Nadal after the Spaniard accepted his invitation to play the exhibition: “As a present, I’ll give you the first set,” he grinned.

But asked if he had indeed given the world No.1 a Christmas present by handing over the first set on Tuesday night, Federer said: “It looks like it, but it wasn’t. It’s really difficult to play today. We haven’t had any practice on this court – they build it up, tear it down – but it was for a great cause.

“I’m so happy Rafa came here today. We tried our best to put in a good effort and I thought the crowds were amazing.”

In buoyant mood after the exhibition raised 2.5 Million Swiss Francs for his charity, Federer added: “This is a special match for me, which I’ll remember forever, not just only for a long, long time.

“I’ll look back on this with very fond memories forever and that I was able to pull off this event here in Switzerland for the first time so nicely and such hype, it was just amazing.”

The two players will now compete in Madrid on Wednesday for the “Joining Forces for the Benefit of Children” exhibition at the La Caja Magica, where Nadal will have the chance to play in front of his home fans.

“It’ll be very exciting for me, and very emotional also,” said Nadal.

“Thanks to Roger for coming. We never played together in Switzerland before, but in Madrid it’s going to be the third time I think. We’re going to be 1-1, he beat me in 2009, I beat him in 2010, so it’s going to be a decisive moment.”

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