Roger Federer, amid a career resurgence, will visit Seattle for the first time April 29 in a KeyArena exhibition that will include Bill Gates, to raise money for children’s education in Africa.
Pro tennis has a small profile in Seattle, but that will change a bit April 29 when Roger Federer, who won a record 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January and swept the recent U.S. hard court events in Indian Wells and Miami, comes to KeyArena for an exhibition match to support children’s education in Africa.
In his first visit to Seattle, Federer will play U.S. star John Isner in an exhibition match, as well as Bill Gates and other celebrities. Tickets for “Match for Africa 4 – Seattle” go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday with net proceeds benefiting the Roger Federer Charitable Fund/Roger Federer Foundation.
As a warm-up, he will team with the Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a friendly, one-set doubles match against Isner and a surprise celebrity partner.
Federer and Isner will then go head-to-head in a best-of-three-sets match that offers the region’s first up-close look at Federer’s legendary game. The match comes amid Federer’s resurgence and rise back up the rankings.
“We know that a good education is a decisive factor to empower children by allowing them to take their future into their own hands,” Federer said in a statement released Tuesday via the Seattle Sports Commission. “With my foundation, we want to provide one million children with the opportunity for a quality education by the end of 2018.
“The Match for Africa 4 in Seattle will help us reach our ambitious goals. I am very grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with Bill Gates, who in my opinion is the world’s leading philanthropist.”
Said Gates: “I’m a huge fan of Roger’s work on and off the court. We share a love of tennis, although he might be a little better than I am, and a belief that all children deserve a world-class education. Roger’s foundation does great work to support education in Africa, so it will be a lot of fun to play alongside him for such an important cause.”
The Federer Foundation has given $29 million to support children’s education in six African countries and Federer’s native Switzerland. An estimated 650,000 children across 16 programs have so far benefited from the foundation’s giving, which emphasizes systemic change and sustainable local impact.
By 2018, it aims to expand its work to support one million children.
Tickets can be purchased at the KeyArena box office, Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone toll free at (800) 745-3000.