ATP Tour

Federer aims high for charity

2014-12-22 07:08
Roger Federer (AFP)

Zurich - Roger Federer heads into Christmas week hoping to take his African charity's aid to at least one million children after a blockbuster fund-raising tennis exhibition on Sunday night with Stanislas Wawrinka, which raised $1.3m.

The pair of 2014 Davis Cup champions - both fathers themselves, with Federer and wife Mirka the parents to two sets of identical twins - took to the court on behalf of the Roger Federer Foundation, which aids disadvantaged children in Africa and Switzerland.

The Hallenstadion was filled to capacity with 11 000 spectators eager to see their heroes in the flesh after what for both had been record-setting 2014 ATP seasons, with the entire exercise accompanied by the rhythms of African music.

Federer won the match 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

"The evening was a great experience for me. Stan and I were given a wonderful reception in the stadium," said Federer, who finished number two behind Novak Djokovic this season on the ATP, winning five titles.

"The fact that we were able to raise such a large amount for the foundation makes the evening even more special. A hearty thank you to Stan that he made this possible," added the 33-year-old.

"It was a lot of fun and a great end to the season," said Wawrinka, preparing to defend his Australian Open title in less than a month. "It was a wonderful year with lots of special moments. It means a lot to me to be able to close the season here in Zurich."

Since its establishment more than a decade ago, the charity effort has raised around $17m for education programmes, and helped 285 000 children in six countries in southern Africa and in Switzerland.

By the end of 2018 the foundation aims to reach one million children.

"With the proceeds from "The Match for Africa 2" we can reach another 30 000 children and improve the quality of over 200 kindergartens and primary schools in southern Africa," added charity managing director Janine Haendel.

Federer will begin his 2015 season in Brisbane in early January prior to the Australian Open.


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