Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have won 25 of tennis’s past 30 Grand Slam titles between them, will meet in a pair of exhibition matches next month to benefit their charitable foundations.
The best-of-three-set hard-court matches will be played in each player’s home country and televised on ESPN2. Federer’s foundation will receive the proceeds from their Dec. 21 match in Zurich, while the Dec. 22 meeting in Madrid will benefit Nadal’s organization.
“Federer and Nadal have rarely played each other on a hard court surface -- and never at the U.S. Open -- so it will be fun to see their styles in this environment,” ESPN tennis analyst Patrick McEnroe said in a statement. “These are called exhibitions, (but) whenever these two guys square off, the competitive juices start flowing and the crowds and spectacle will be terrific as each plays in his own country.”
Federer, a Swiss right-hander who has a record 16 Grand Slam singles titles, is second in the ATP Tour rankings to Nadal, a Spanish left-hander who has won nine majors. Nadal won the final three Grand Slams in 2010 -- the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open -- after Federer won the Australian Open.
Nadal holds a 14-7 lead in their 21 career meetings, including a 10-2 advantage on clay surfaces. Nadal, 24, and Federer, 29, have split six matches on hard courts.