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Follow-up: Highlights: Roger Federer and Bill Gates play tennis together in Seattle, share a passion for philanthropy

Roger Federer. Bill Gates. John Isner. Mike McCready. All on the same court together.

Are you ready for some awesome tennis in Seattle?

GeekWire is live inside Key Arena for the fourth “Match for Africa” day put on by the Roger Federer Foundation, which has organized a fun charity event this Saturday evening in front what should be a sold-out crowd in Seattle.

The crowd arrives for Federer’s first tennis match in Seattle, where he’ll play alongside Bill Gates.

Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, will play tennis for the first time in Seattle and team up with Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, in a doubles match. They’ll face off against Isner, one of the top American players, and Mike McCready, famed guitarist for Pearl Jam, for what should make for an entertaining half hour of tennis.

Federer will later battle Isner in a three-set match.

Proceeds from the event will go toward The Roger Federer Foundation.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Roger Federer Charitable Fund/Roger Federer Foundation, which aims to provide one million children with the opportunity for a quality education by the end of 2018.

The Opening Ceremony kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT, so check back then for live updates from Key Arena. You can also live stream the match on Facebook — and — as well as

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:08 pm

Hello, everyone! We are settled in here at Key Arena. A nice buzz in here with tennis fans of all ages, may of whom are rocking their Roger Federer hats. You can watch the match live on Facebook at and

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:14 pm

Opening Ceremony featuring One World Dance & Drum and Blue Thunder Drumline from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Celebrity doubles match (1 set) from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Intermission featuring Josh Vietti, hip hop violinist, 6:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Singles Match: Federer vs. Isner (3 sets), 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:20 pm

Word is that McCready is also doing the national anthem. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:21 pm

Good read on Federer’s foundation and how he got Gates involved:

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:22 pm

Federer’s foundation has reached 277,000 children since starting in 2003 and the goal is to reach one million by 2018:

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:31 pm

Federer is 35 years old now and after an off year in 2016, he’s come back super strong in 2017. He has already won the Australian Open — his 18th major title victory — and two other tournaments. What’s his secret to success and longevity? We’ll catch up with him after today’s matches and find out. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:31 pm

Gates, meanwhile, is a long-time fan of tennis and a player himself — fellow billionaire Richard Branson just spoke about playing tennis with Gates during his visit to Seattle a few weeks ago.

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Presenting partners for today’s event: Three PNW companies — Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike — and Rolex. 

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“I’m a huge fan of Roger’s work on and off the court,” Gates said in a statement earlier this month. “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.”

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:36 pm

Gates and Fed got together to do a promo video for this event…the result is pretty funny:

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Federer is ranked No. 4 in the world. Isner is No. 23.

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:38 pm

Opening Ceremony begins. “How cool is it that we can say Roger Federer is in Seattle?” MC asks, to huge roars from the crowd. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:32 pm

Federer’s foundation has reached 650,000 children since starting in 2003 and the goal is to reach one million by 2018:

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:45 pm

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:45 pm

One World Dance & Drum:

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:46 pm

Pretty close to sold out here…only a few empty seats. Should be a fun night!

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:47 pm
Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:53 pm

Mike McCready with the national anthem (more pics coming soon). 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:55 pm

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:55 pm

Blue Thunder Drumline

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:58 pm

Doubles match about to begin! I can see the players getting ready to come out. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20175:59 pm

Tennis Channel also live streaming this…

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:02 pm

Each player introduced, HUGE roars for Federer. People LOVE him. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:03 pm

Gates also got huge roars. Funny moment as he was surprised by the fire machine. 

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This is hilarious. 

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Great back-and-forth volley to start but it’s Isner/McCready with the early 30-0 lead in the first set after Isner slams an ace past Gates. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:11 pm

Fed with an unforced error and apologizes to Gates. LOL. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:12 pm

Isner/McCready take win four straight points to take an early 1-0 lead. Awesome energy in Key Arena. 

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Gates with his first winner and the crowd loves it. 

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Now Fed/Gates with a 40-0 advantage. 

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And just like that Fed/Gates take game 2 and it’s all knotted at one apiece. McCready serving now. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:16 pm

These back-and-forths are so fun…Fed/Isner clearly taking it easy on some points. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:16 pm

Gates must be a Nike fan…shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, all Nike. Fed is a Nike athlete, by the way. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:18 pm

Gates goes back and forth at the net with Isner, with Gates winning. 40-40 now. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:22 pm

Game 4 now. Gates serving and helps Fed/Gates go up 30-15.

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:23 pm

Crowd is impressed with Gates’ serving ability. He’s made his first serve each time. 40-30 Gates/Fed. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:23 pm

2-2 now. 

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Fed egging on Isner, who is serving to him. 

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30-30 now. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:26 pm

Really hilarious to see when Isner/Fed turn it on a bit. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:26 pm

Gates and McCready are hanging in there just fine. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:28 pm

Isner/McCready take game 5. They are up 3-2 now. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:28 pm

Some guy is going crazy to Mony Mony in the stands dancing. I can’t tell if this is staged. But the crowd loves it. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:31 pm

Fed and Isner with some good rallies. Fed/Gates take game 6. 3-3 now. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:34 pm

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:34 pm

Fed with a fun volley match with Isner at the net, with ball never touching ground, until Gates hits a winner. Fed/Gates take game six, go up 4-3. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:37 pm

Gates serves well, hits winner, now him and Fed up 5-3. Game point!

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:38 pm

Just heard a “Do it for Ballmer.”

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:42 pm

Isner/McCready take the game. Now 5-4. Fed serving. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:43 pm

Isner trying to get in Fed’s head. “Don’t get nervous Roger. This could be the biggest game of your life.” 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:46 pm

Fed with the winner and Fed/Gates win the match, 6-4. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:47 pm

Gates calls Federer a “real gentleman” in the post-game interview. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:47 pm

Fed says this goes down as “one of the special nights in my life.”

Taylor Soper 04/29/20176:48 pm

OK, now a break before Fed vs. Isner singles match. Stay tuned for more updates and photos.  

Taylor Soper 04/29/20177:14 pm

“John, I’m coming after you.” Roger says as he faces off against Isner in a 3-set battle. Live stream at and

Taylor Soper 04/29/20177:36 pm

OK, it’s 4-2 Fed. And he just hit a classic Fed shot, going between the legs — a tweener!! — and returning Isner to finish off the point. Huge ovation from crowd as he puts his arms up and bows his head. Isner chucks his racket across the net in disbelief. Man this is fun. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20177:38 pm

OK, it’s 4-2 Fed. And he just hit a classic Fed shot, going behind the legs — a.k.a. a “tweener” — and returning Isner to finish off the point. Huge ovation from crowd as he puts his arms up and bows his head. Isner chucks his racket across the net in disbelief. Man this is fun. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20177:46 pm

Fed takes first set, 6-4. 

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Some snaps from our photographer Kevin Lisota: 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20178:16 pm

Isner up 5-4 in the second set. I’m sure fans here hoping for a third set tiebreaker. 

Taylor Soper 04/29/20178:25 pm

All tied at 6 apiece. Tiebreaker now with Federer going for the win. 

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