By all measures, Match For Africa 4—the fundraiser for the Roger Federer Foundation, held in Seattle—was a success.
The announced crowd of 16,000 got to witness some shot-making wizardry—and Roger Federer and John Isner weren’t bad either. Their respective partners, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, had a few highlight reel moments in their one-set doubles exhibition.
Federer and Gates broke McCready for a 4-3 lead in the set and held onto it to take the set, 6-4.
After a brief break, it was time for the main event: Federer vs. Isner. On tour, their head-to-head record is 5-2 in Federer’s favor. But anything can happen in an exhibition and Federer did indeed make the impossible look routine throughout.
The first point of the match was an ace by Isner, but on the next one, Federer ripped a passing shot by him. Federer wasn’t having too much difficulty making inroads on the Isner delivery and went up 5-2 in the first set. Points like this will do that.
Isner held and got back one of the breaks, but Federer served out the opener, 6-4.
In the second set, the two went toe-to-toe, with Isner doing a better job of protecting his serve. In the eventual tiebreak, Isner went up an early mini-break. Usually, tiebreaks favor the big server, especially if they get a quick advantage on their opponent’s serve. However, with Federer—especially given the way he’s been playing in 2017—no lead like that is safe. And though Isner would earn a set point, it was Federer who ended up taking the set and the match.
Afterward, it was announced that the exhibition raised $2 million for the foundation and its efforts in Africa. An entertaining night of tennis was a true hit for all involved.