• Tennis

Federer and Tsonga raise more than $1m for charity

ESPN staff
January 8, 2014
Roger Federer shares a moment with Australian legend Rod Laver © Getty Images

Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga raised over $1 million for the Roger Federer Foundation on Wednesday at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

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The foundation, which was set up 11 years ago, has aided more than 50,000 poverty-stricken children with education. Federer defeated Tsonga 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5, this after he had been hitting on court with Australian legend Rod Laver.

"What a pleasure to play any match here, in particular a match for a good cause," four-time Australian Open champion Federer said, who was joined by his former coach Tony Roche, Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter in the evening's entertainment.

"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."

And on his foundation, Federer said: "It's something very close to my heart, I'm very emotionally attached.

"To reach 10 years is a great deal. I'm happy I started so early. I learnt a lot at the beginning of my career, I met influential people who taught me great things. I really feel we're still at the beginning. We can achieve great things. We hope to reach one million kids by 2018 and an event like this is going to help in a big way."

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