Roger Federer Rallies With Rod Laver During An Australian Open Charity Exo [Video]
by Tom Gainey | January 8th, 2014
  • 31 Comments

“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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31 Comments for Roger Federer Rallies With Rod Laver During An Australian Open Charity Exo [Video]

TGIT Says:

Wow. Double GOATS on court. Lucky Aussies.


Josh Says:

Absolutely loved it! A really entertaining evening, good exhibition match between Roger and Tsonga, and most important of all they raised over $1 million for such a worthy cause!
I’ve not even been able to go to sleep, so it looks like I’ll be pulling an all-nighter…


The Great Davy Says:

Rod Laver have more hair than me… fml


TGIT Says:

Roger will get back to the semis at this Aussie Open. He will not win but I don’t think he will lose ground.

His new stick is working out well and I know after a tough defeat he will analyze and adjust.

Go Roger!


madmax Says:

God, that was so cute with Laver, the grand daddy of GOATs! How fantastic does Roger look in Red! Favourite colour.

Good on you Roger for organising this and for Jo too. Wish I could have been there.

Josh, tell us more please about the match, good and bad points (were there any?).

A sell out – great Aussie audience!


Josh Says:

madmax: Just a quick summary then:
Fed broke for 3-2 in the 1st set, but Tsonga broke back and won the ensuing tie-break
Second set: Fed broke and served out the set 6-3.
Third set: Tsonga broke for 4-2, but Fed broke twice in a row to serve for the match at 5-4. Tsonga broke back again, before Fed immediately broke once more and served out. 6-7, 6-3, 7-5

Fed hit about 55 winners (Tsonga around 45) – unforced errors around 25-30 for each player.
Of course, they were fooling around half the time, so there were some funny net approaches but some really entertaining rallies.
Definitely a lot of good serving and some very powerful and deep forehands being hit by both players, not to mention a funny “BH Slice Battle” – almost a tribute to Fed vs Youzhny in 2007. Fed’s BH needs to be a little more solid, but he got into a good groove in Set 3.
The match point was quite funny – basically ended with Roger trying to put away a smash (about 5 times), with Tsonga jumping around and returning them from the back of the arena, and finally Tsonga fell down!

One point to note is that the court seemed just as even-paced as last year. Every time Federer or Tsonga played an average BH slice, the ball just sat up and asked to be hit. Much slower than those Brisbane, but not a huge concern I suppose.


Josh Says:

I forgot to mention that a full 3-hr replay of the evening is available on youtube, for those who missed the proceedings and would like to catch up on it.


skeezer Says:

Tear to the eye.
Awesome stuff. THE 2 GOATs on the same court.
___

@Josh
thanks for the quick summary.


Giles Says:

Jan 8th 12.28 pm Geez, another cry baby!!


Josh Says:

Meh, nothing wrong with showing some emotion


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Josh yes indeed i actually cried buckets last summer when Murray won Wimbledon.


Josh Says:

Yeah, same here TXHC (not exactly buckets, but enough), and for some other great moments as well


Giles Says:

Josh & Alison. My post was addressed to skeezer.


andrea Says:

that’s awesome!


Humble Rafa Says:

Self serving. He raised money for HIS charity.

None the less, Humble happy to see some goats doing good. Working goats make goat owner happy.


senthilvel Says:

“2008 Australian Open final” repeat… My GOD.. please change it.


madmax Says:

Josh,

Thanks for the summary and I will be watching the whole match on Friday evening, after work.

Giles, now, now.


Giles Says:

madmax. Couldn’t resist. Lol


Josh Says:

No probs, madmax


van orten Says:

goat owner
likes working goats …lol that is funny


van orten Says:

I believe a 38 year old roger would win vs 33 year old rafa with new knee. still not on clay though . cause there rafa wins even with no legs no.
rafa and roger are worlds finest and should continue playing for long long time


James Says:

van orten, Rafa would be difficult to beat even at 33. Roger at 38 would do well to win a couple of games vs 33 year old Rafa.


SG1 Says:

Wow. What a great memory for Roger to have!


skeezer Says:

Lol i’ll take a Fed 38 vs a Rafa @33 anyday of the day, month or week. Where is the bettors? LMAO!


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer. ^^^^

To have made the above statement you must be counting on Rafa’s knees to be totally shot!! Lol


roy Says:

”I believe a 38 year old roger would win vs 33 year old rafa with new knee. still not on clay though . cause there rafa wins even with no legs no.
rafa and roger are worlds finest and should continue playing for long long time”

expect to see them on the champions tour. they’ll take a few years off then get bored and restless like every other player and before you know it the champion’s tour will be making more money than the wta tour if it doesn’t already.


skeezer Says:

This will go down as one of the most honorable best things ever done in tennis. Fed would be the only guy of course to bring Laver on Centre court at AO for such an honor. A public acknowledgement of respect to the game, and the man(Laver).
One hopes that when Fed is gone others will pay the appropriate homage to the past GOATS of Tennis not be so self centered of self proclaimed humbleness and “we’ll see of me”.


ID FAN Says:

Hi skeezer :

I knew you would like 4 my favourite ofcourse 5

Rafa fans :

what you think is rafas most dominant performance at AO ?


ID FAN Says:

Great to watch roger and laver, rally.
i wish becker and djokovic played doubles with them
and may be borg or nadal

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