Men's world number one Roger Federer will return to action for the first time since winning the Rotterdam Open on Monday night [5 March] as he once again teams up with Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates at a charity event in the United States.

The Match for Africa 5 Silicon Valley, the fifth such event hosted by the Roger Federer Foundation [RFF], will see the 36-year-old pair up with Gates at SAP Center in San Jose, California in a one-set doubles match against 10th-ranked American professional Jack Sock and self-confessed superfan Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of NBC's The Today Show.

Federer and Sock will then lock horns in a best-of-three sets exhibition singles contest, with money raised going towards helping support children's education in Africa.

"What got me going 15 years ago, already we're celebrating 15 years of the foundation, was me going to South Africa on vacation when I was a little boy with my Mum, who was from South Africa, born in Johannesburg," Federer said alongside Gates and Guthrie on the latest edition of Today.

"The values that she taught me and my Dad.

"When I got into tennis and I finally was able to make some money and make a name for myself, you feel fortunate and how you share that feeling with other people. I just thought that education is something that really interests me. I thought let me get stuck into early childhood education or just education in general and here we are, it's very exciting."

Federer, who has won all four of his ATP Tour meetings with Sock twice in Indian Wells, Basel and London without dropping a set, took on long-time rival Rafael Nadal, compatriot Stan Wawrinka and Great Britain's Andy Murray in the first three editions of the Match for Africa between 2010 and 2017, while last April he beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 in addition to pairing with Gates to see off the challenge of his fellow pro and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready 6–4.

Questioned by Guthrie on what he had learned from Gates about charity, he added: "Reading about Bill, just hearing him speak about philanthropy, how passionate he is with Melinda and what great they do in the world, you learn about everything. Just the passion, I'm obviously doing it all out of passion but he's been doing it for a long, long time and on a much bigger scale and that's super inspiring."


Monday night's exhibition will be Federer's first return to the court since mid-February, when he beat Ruben Bemelmans, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Robin Haase to become the oldest world number one in tennis history and end a run of more than five years away from top spot in the ATP rankings.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner later defeated Andreas Seppi and Grigor Dimitrov to win the Rotterdam event for the third time and collect his 97th career singles title - 12 short of Open Era record-holder Jimmy Connors.

Federer opted not to accept a wildcard into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as he was instead named as the 2017 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year award-winner in Monte Carlo, although he will attempt to complete another Sunshine Double at Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami over the coming weeks.

He has yet to decide if he will enter any events during the upcoming clay-court swing or once again skip playing on the red dirt altogether in a bid to preserve his fitness.

Jack Sock and Roger Federer
Jack Sock and Roger Federer met during the 2017 ATP Tour Finals and at the Hopman Cup in January Clive Brunskill/Getty Images