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Game On

Anh-Minh Le | March 2, 2018 | Story Now In National

For the first time, 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will be hitting the court in the Bay Area.

The fifth edition of Match for Africa, which benefits the Roger Federer Foundation, is slated for March 5 at SAP Center in San Jose. And this isn’t your typical competition: In addition to taking on Jack Sock, Federer will team up with Bill Gates for doubles action against Sock and Savannah Guthrie.

The unique sporting event was conceived after the foundation set an ambitious goal for itself five years ago: “By the end of 2018, we wanted to increase the quality of education of 1 million children living in poverty,” says CEO Dr. Janine Händel. That would entail raising $40 million, with about 80 percent of the funds coming from Federer via sponsors, tournaments and merchandise.

The tennis series—the first three were in Federer’s native Switzerland, followed last year by Seattle—has been an effective tool to generate money and awareness. “The Roger Federer Foundation enhances a world where children are able to take control of their future and actively shape it thanks to quality early learning and primary education,” says Händel, adding: “We very much believe that education is one of the decisive levers that enables people to escape existing poverty.” An evening of charity and champions? We’d call that a win-win.
7pm, tickets from $50, VIP packages $1,600

Originally published in the March/April issue of Silicon Valley

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