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World's Oldest Nadal Fan to Realize Dream Day

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play timeless tennis.

When the iconic rivals square off in today's Match In Africa 6 at the 55,000-capacity Cape Town Stadium they'll likely make history for the largest-ever attendance at a tennis match—and make a long-time dream come true for the world's oldest Nadal fan.

More: Federer, Nadal to Renew Rivalry

Lilian Witbooi, a devoted tennis player in her younger years, is a 95-year-old South African grandmother who dreamed of watching her favorite player, Nadal, face off against Federer. Thanks to the Roger Federer Foundation, that dream comes true today, reports South Africa's IOL.


Pre-game meal 🎾🤪✅ who’s the favorite Gateserer or Nsquared?😉#matchinafrica

A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) on

Tickets for the exhibition sold out in about 15 minutes. Despite her family members calling and standing in line for tickets, they were shut out.

Undaunted, Riedewhan Davids, who is Lilian's son-in-law, wrote a letter to the Roger Federer Foundation detailing her devotion to Nadal and requesting she be considered should a wheelchair ticket become available.

"She was devastated, heartbroken and disappointed,” Davids wrote in the letter. "As she was a tennis player in her much younger days she liked what she saw in the young man and has been following his progress ever since. It has always been her wish to see him in action.”

Two days after Davids sent the letter, the Roger Federer Foundation replied and delivered two tickets: one for Lilian and one for her caretaker. 

“I’m very excited. I keep packing and unpacking. I keep wishing I could meet Nadal," Lilian told IOL. "I just wish he wins and I wish I could take a photo with him.

“The first time I saw him play was about 12 years ago. He doesn’t just hit the ball, he plays tennis.”

Photo credit: Rafael Nadal Instagram