It’s hard to imagine 35-year-old Roger Federer winning more, and world No. 1 Andy Murray losing more, than both have already done in 2017. Federer, after a six-month, injury-induced absence, is 19-1 on the season and has won its three biggest tournaments. Murray, who ended the 2016 season on a 23-match winning streak, has already taken three defeats this year, including a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open and a first-round loss at Indian Wells.
Perhaps the Scot needs a shot at the hottest player in the world to regain his confidence—which he’ll get on Monday in Zurich, Switzerland. But regardless of who wins or losses The Match for Africa 3, the third installment of charity tennis exhibitions for the Roger Federer Foundation, both men will come out of this match feeling pretty good about themselves.
“I believe in the power of people. We know that a good education is a decisive factor to empower children by allowing them to take their future into their own hands,” said Federer, who will play a fourth Match for Africa against John Isner on April 29 in Seattle, WA. “With my foundation, we want to provide one million children with the opportunity for a quality education by the end of 2018.”
Since its inception in 2013, the Roger Federer Foundation has generated $29 million for children’s education in Switzerland and six African nations. It is estimated that 650,000 children have benefited from the Foundation’s efforts.
Considering Federer’s recent resurgence and the caliber of his opponent, there should be no shortage of new funds raised, or brilliant points played, on Monday. Donations can be made online at match-for-africa.com.
Federer will return the favor in November, when he travels to Glasgow, Scotland for Andy Murray Live, which supports international and local charities.
Make no mistake about it: this match will not affirm that Federer is unbeatable (unless your name happens to be Evgeny Donskoy), or signal that Murray has rediscovered his once-sure footing. But it will still be compelling to watch from a playing perspective. The backhand battle between Federer and Murray has been utterly one-sided in the two-hander’s favor for years. How will Federer’s revitalized, potent one-hander hold up in exchanges?
As for Murray, will he try out some new tactics of his own, after withdrawing from Miami and a experiencing subpar start to the season? He’ll be free to swing away with no repercussions, which is essentially how Federer came up with his now-useful SABR serve return.
Then, of course, there’s the obligatory exhibition tomfoolery, of which Federer and Murray are both well-versed:
Watch Federer and Murray in The Match for Africa 3 on Tennis Channel at 2 PM eastern time on Monday, April 10.