(Photo via Roger’s Facebook page)
Well, that was refreshing! Like a breeze off the Matterhorn. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal treated fans to as intense an exhibition match as we could hope for, with Roger winning in three sets: 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 on home turf.
Really, does anyone want to watch a hit and giggle when these two are playing each other? They giggle plenty off court, right? Seriously, tell me if you disagree. With the exception of the delightfully off-the-cuff Hit for Haiti in Melbourne last January, I remain pretty ambivalent about exhibitions as entertainment. Even with the extremely noble and important charitable component, I just always feel a little off after watching one (or embarrassed, in the case of that Agassi vs. Sampras nightmare in the desert.) Exos are tennis junk food. Because when it’s all said and done, one of the most fulfilling – nay, nutritious – things about watching tennis is that someone wins. Hopefully the guy you’re rooting for! And as Roger says, exos just aren’t about winning and losing. Via Roger’s website:
“A lot more important than the result on court is the fact that with the event a total of 2.5 million Swiss Francs were generated! The money will be used for education projects in Africa supported by the Roger Federer Foundation.”
That’s over 2.6 million USD – a really impressive result for a first-time event. I read that the match was the highlight of a “telethon-like event” on Swiss TV which included other Swiss athletes donating items, like a day skiing with Alpine ski racer Didier Cuche, to be auctioned in support of the RF Foundation.
More from Roger, via Tennis.com: “This is a special match for me, which I will remember forever,” Federer said. “I’m just so proud and so happy that we all made it work.”
And the best part is – we get to feast again tomorrow! (I’m thinking these exos are like In N’ Out – fast food, with integrity.) Rafael Nadal will host Roger in Madrid, for “Unidos por la Infancia,” a match benefiting the Spaniard’s foundation on Wednesday evening.
Something tells me Rafa’s got this match in the bag. . .along with some french fries and a double-double.