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Roger Federer and Andy Murray scheduled to play each other at Match for Africa in 2017

799   //    16 Nov 2016, 13:56 IST

Former World No. 1 Roger Federer and current No. 1 Andy Murray will be playing a charity exhibition match against each other in Zurich, in Federer’s home country Switzerland early next year, the Swiss has revealed. The proceeds will go entirely to the 17-time Major winner’s foundation to support children in underpriviliged nations. The Roger Federer foundation aims to assist the underprivileged with access to education. 

In a video posted to his Twitter page, Federer insisted, tongue-in-cheek, that the cameraman stay “above waist level” while filming. “Andy, it’s so great having you in Switzerland, and to play the third Match for Africa together,” he said. The camera later panned to show the Swiss dressed in a traditional Scottish kilt and long socks, mock-playing the bagpipes.

The Roger Federer Foundation’s Match for Africa 2 was played between the Swiss and compatriot and longtime friend Stan Wawrinka, who was fresh off his debut Grand Slam that year, in 2014, at the same venue this year’s event will be held – the Hallenstadion in Zurich. 

The first ever edition of this tournament was played in 2010 between Federer and friend Rafael Nadal; that event saw two exhibition matches, with one played in Madrid, and the other in Zurich. Proceeds from the former went to Nadal’s foundation, while that in Zurich went to that of Federer. That event raised in excess of US$4 million, with further proceeds from the sale of part of the court there also going to charity. 

The pair each won one match at that exhibition, with Federer downing Wawrinka at the next. 

2016 has been somewhat of a year of contrasts for the pair. Federer, who had the longest reign as World No. 1 – at 377 weeks, this year saw himself drop out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly 15 years while Murray has skyrocketed. 

Ever the consistent player, the Scot, sitting on the World No. 2 title, spent the year playing incredibly consistent tennis, chipping away at Djokovic’s 8,000 point lead to take the World No. 1 title – and win his third Grand Slam title with the trophy at Wimbledon this year. 

An early exit for Djokovic at the Paris-Bercy Masters meant that Murray would take the World No. 1 rank; he also won the title there, making him top seed at the ATP World Tour Finals, currently ongoing in London. Although Djokovic is the defending champion there, it is Murra who is the favourite to win; Djokovic has also had to reach deep for victories at the event. 

Should Murray win the World Tour Finals, he will become the year-end World No. 1 for 2016; and in doing so, be the oldest first-time World No. 1 in the Open Era. 

The pair last played each other at the 2015 Cincinnati Masters, with Federer taking a straight sets win, so this will be an exciting prospect for fans in the new year.

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