Andy Murray returned to competitive tennis court after over a month, albeit in a different setting – a charity match against Roger Federer played first on a raft, and then on the court, in Zurich.

However, the World No 1 went down 6-3, 7-6 (5) to the in-form Federer, as the duo played The Match for Africa 3 on Monday night, for the Roger Federer Foundation.

Murray, who withdrew from the Miami Open in March with an elbow problem after a shock opening round loss at Indian Wells, has had a rough season so far with injuries and illness. But the 29-year-old seemed glad to be back on court and hopes to play the Monte Carlo Masters, which starts next week.

“I enjoyed it. I haven’t played a match for five or six weeks so to come out and play in front of this crowd against Roger, I appreciate him asking me to come and do this. I was trying to get it to a third set, I just couldn’t quite do it,” he was quoted as saying.

“Monte Carlo starts in a week, so I’m hoping, if I keep progressing as I have with the elbow, to play Monte Carlo. If not then I just need to stay patient and I’ll try the following week. I’m getting there, I just have to go slowly,” he added.

A fun, unusual match

Before the exhibition match, Federer and Murray prepared for and promoted it in an unusual way – by playing each other on a raft in the middle of the river Limmat. This is not Federer’s first time playing tennis on the water, he promoted the upcoming Laver Cup by knocking a few balls on a boat over the Vltava river in Prague with Tomas Berdych.

The Match for Africa 3 had its share of fun as well, with both Federer and Murray at their humorous best.

There was this Federer tweener that went straight to Murray’s head:

There was Murray schooling Federer on how to “slice”:


Then Murray asked a ball boy to serve for him while facing match point. The boy served a double fault and despite Federer’s encouragement to try again, returned the racquet to Murray.

Not to mention this hilarious interview where Murray spoke about winning the Wimbledon title in 2013 after being reminded “pretty much every day of my life for about 10 years” that a British male had not won it since 1936.


Federer, who is on a self-imposed break from tennis till the French Open, is set to play another exhibition match against John Isner in Seattle on April 29 in The Match for Africa 4, where he has partnered with Bill Gates to promote the event.

Here’s their amusing advertisement for the event:


Clearly, Roger Federer is not letting his clay-court sabbatical come in the way of having fun on the tennis court.