“Ladies and gentlemen. Would you please welcome, to his own arena, Mr. Rod Laver.”
And so began a fun-filled light-hearted night of charity featuring Rod Laver, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Patrick Rafter and Jo-Wilfied Tsonga.
The event in total raised over $1 million toward the Roger Federer Foundation.
“What a pleasure to play any match here, in particular a match for a good cause,” said Federer. “I played some of the biggest matches of my career right here. It’s very special being back. It was a dream come true to play some balls with Rod Laver, spend some time with him, speak with him.
“The most important thing tonight was to enjoy it, have fun with Jo and get into the mood of the Australian Open. It’s a pleasure playing the Australian Open. I’ve been coming for nearly 15 years. This was perfect preparation, but so much more tonight.”
In a rematch of their 2008 Australian Open final, Federer beat Tsonga in the main event 67, 63, 75 but it wasn’t about the result that mattered.
“I’m really pleased to be here tonight,’ said Tsonga. “To help Roger is always an honour. I played well. It was a good match tonight. It’s always tough to play against Roger. It’s great to be here tonight for a great cause.”
Here’s Laver walking out on court:
And the full event:
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