Two titans will meet on a tennis court late this month to raise money for education efforts in Africa.
One is Bill Gates, captain of industry, co-founder of Microsoft (MSFT) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The other is tennis legend Roger Federer, winner of 18 Grand Slam tournaments and currently ranked the No. 4 player in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Unfortunately, the two won’t face each other but they will partner in a warm-up doubles match against American tennis player John Isner and a “surprise celebrity” partner. Then Federer and Isner, ranked 23rd in the world, will face off.
Tickets for the event, to take place April 29 at Seattle’s KeyArena, go on sale Thursday. Proceeds will benefit the Roger Federer Charitable Fund/Roger Federer Foundation.
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The video touting the event, released this week, shows a solitary Federer practicing serves in an empty arena. Well, almost empty. There is one loud-mouthed kibitzer: Guess who? Federer tweeted a link to it.
“I’m a huge fan of Roger’s work on and off the court,” Gates said in a prepared statement.
“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.”
There is, to use a tortured term, synergy here. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds healthcare and education efforts in Africa and elsewhere around the world.