The exhibition between Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City has broken the record for the largest crowd to watch a tennis game with announced attendance of 42,517 fans.
The previous record was 35,681 spectators for an exhibition between Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams in 2010 in Brussels.
Federer won the friendly encounter, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Saturday’s match marked the first time Federer, 38, had played in Mexico since he was a junior, and was part of the Swiss’ South American tour, which also included meetings with Zverev in Chile and Argentina.
“It means the world for us and tennis to get to write history in Mexico,” Federer was quoted having told the crowd. “It has been 23 years I haven’t come to Mexico and what an error I made. It gave me the opportunity to play in front of one of the best crowds, I have chills.”
Alongside the singles, Bob and Mike Bryan played a doubles exhibition with Mexican pair Santiago Gonzalez and MiguelReyes Varela.
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The event is part of Federer’s South American tour, which has also included an exhibition in Santiago, Chile with 13,000 spectators, in Buenos Aires with 14,000 fans and a scheduled appearance in Bogota, Colombia in front of 8,000 fans that had to be called off because of a government curfew to contain protests in the country. The next event is in Quito, Ecuador.
A scheduled game in Colombia was called off due to social unrest in Bogota, where the contest would have taken place.
Federer will have an opportunity to break the new record as early as February, when he faces Rafael Nadal in an exhibition game in South Africa.
The clash will take place at the Cape Town Stadium, which has a capacity of 55,000, and will be preceded by a doubles contest in which Federer will partner Microsoft founder Bill Gates, while Nadal pairs with South African comedian Trevor Noah.
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