This past weekend Andy Murray made his return to the court after a month-long injury layoff. Rather than come back in competition, he accepted an invitiation from Federer to play an exhibition match in Zurich.
The exhibition, called The Match for Africa 3, benefitted Federer’s foundation. There were 11,000 fans in attendance. Murray appeared to really enjoy himself. Despite the match being a lighthearted exhibition, his game looked as sharp as you could expect. Federer, clearly in-form having won the year’s three largest events, took the match 6-3, 7-6. But that was not the biggest story of the night…
Facing match point, Murray cracked a smile.
He walked towards the back of the court.
And handed his racket to a ball boy.
The boy sheepishly took the racket and (after some encouragement from the world #1) walked to the line. He played to the crowd by mimicking the pros ball selection routing pre-serve. The crowd loved it.
He took two confident swings before unfortunately double-faulting. Afterwards, he declined Federer’s invitation to hit a third ball, but not before becoming a crowd-favorite! Not to mention a soon-to-be internet sensation. Watch the video above and just try not to smile. You can’t do it. Impossible.
It is delightfully refreshing to see two players as internationally famous as Federer and Murray in an environment like the Match for Africa 3.
It is inspiring to see legends like these two take time out of their rigorous routines to give back to a great cause. It is even more inspiring to see them involve the crowd! There is an aura of approachability that their sterling resumes certainly don’t project.
Highlights for the match are available online, but this one is probably the most important 😉