Federer tops Nadal in exhibition

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 6:25 PM ET

ZURICH -- Two of the all-time tennis greats squared off on Tuesday, as former world No. 1 Roger Federer bested currently top-ranked star Rafael Nadal in a best-of-three-set exhibition billed as the "Match for Africa."

The 29-year-old Federer prevailed against the 24-year-old Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the 71-year-old Hallenstadion.

Federer won the deciding set by getting a pair of breaks, including a match- ending one.

Nadal captured the opening set on Tuesday by breaking Federer for a 5-4 lead and holding in the next game, while the second set was all Federer, as the Swiss icon got an early break and cruised the rest of the stanza.

In their official ATP matches, Nadal is 14-8 lifetime against his long-time rival Federer.

Nadal was asked on court after the match if he still liked Federer despite losing to him now in their last two meetings. The Spaniard responded by saying "a little bit less," with a chuckle.

Federer also beat Nadal in the final at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last month.

Earlier on Tuesday, the 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer picked up the nine-time major titlist Nadal on the runway at the airport in Zurich, with Nadal arriving via private jet and Federer driving a $200,000 Mercedes SLS AMG with the gull-wing doors. The two greats then headed to downtown Zurich, had lunch and did a little shopping before heading off to the arena.

Federer and Nadal, who have combined to win 21 of the last 24 Grand Slam events, will play another exhibition match Wednesday in Madrid in Nadal's native Spain, with proceeds from the bouts going to the players' respective charities. The Roger Federer Foundation supports education, sports and play for underprivileged children in Africa and Switzerland.


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