On Sunday December 21, 2012, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka fought out in front of the packed Swiss crowd of 11000 people at Zurich’s Hallenstadion, where the second match for Africa was staged after four years. Although, it was strictly an exhibition game, played for a cause, the enthusiasm was not missing as two highly ranked ATP stars played their best tennis with Federer emerging as a 7-6, 6-4 winner after an hour and 33 minutes. Both players admitted that it was a great experience for them since a lot of money could be collected for the children of Africa under the auspices of the Roger Federer Foundation and Rolex. The final count was 1.3 million Swiss Francs and the money would be used for promoting of quality education and supporting projects operated by local nonprofit groups in six countries in southern Africa and Switzerland. As 2014 ends, the charity work is already benefitting 136,000 African children and the Foundation aims at reaching a figure of a million children by 2018.
As Federer and Wawrinka entered the court, they were warmly greeted by the huge crowd of home supporters. Before the match began, Federer and Wawrinka played for a while with two 10-year old children. One of them was singer Chelsea Fontenel and the other was a ball-boy. Afterwards, Chelsea entertained the crowd with an interpretation of “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner. Last week, Federer was voted as the “Swiss Personality of the Year 2014” during a Credit Suisse Awards function and he was also congratulated for his feat, as came to the court in the Swiss red shirt. Both players continued with their powerful tennis games in the first set and refused to yield service games until 6-6. In the tie-break, thereafter, Federer prevailed over Wawrinka with his booming service. After winning the first set, Federer broke his opponent in the third game of the second set. But Wawrinka produced a crafty game and created a break point opportunity for himself at 3-4. But Federer saved the break point and led 5-3 before wrapping up the match 7-6, 6-4. The winning shot from Federer was an overhead smash that Wawrinka could only watch with no way to run back and retrieve.
On the whole, the two tennis stars offered to the spectators the worth of their money with spectacular smashes, finely-controlled lobs and amazing cross-court passing shots. Just last month, the two stars had brought historical glory to Switzerland by winning the Davis Cup against France. It was Switzerland’s first ever Davis Cup victory in the long history of the tournament. Therefore, their presence in Zurich was even more welcome as the viewers saw them together so soon after their wonderful feat for the nation.
It was the second such match after the first, four years ago, where Federer had played against Rafael Nadal at the same venue. That match was also keenly fought with Federer prevailing in three sets against the Spaniard. Federer was very pleased after last Sunday’s game against his compatriot and Davis Cup doubles partner. He said that the match was a great experience for him as he had received a wonderful reception by the crowd. He added that raising money for the depraved children of Africa was a worthy cause that the Match for Africa served. Lot of Africans were also present in the stadium, where the crowd was treated to traditional African dances during changeovers.
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