Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Federer to make Northern California debut in March

   It's only an exhibition, but it will have to do.
   Roger Federer, 36, will play in Northern California for the first time when he faces ninth-ranked Jack Sock of Kansas City, Kan., on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the SAP Center in San Jose.
   Federer also will play doubles with Bill Gates against Sock and "Today" hostess Savannah Guthrie.
   The exhibition will benefit Federer's foundation, which provides access to education for children in southern African countries. Federer's mother, Lynette, is South African. Last year's exhibition in Seattle between Federer and John Isner raised $2 million.
   After appearing in San Jose, Federer and Sock will play in the BNP Paribas Open, the highest-level tournament after the Grand Slams, at Indian Wells, Calif. Men's qualifying in the two-week event begins March 6, and first-round matches start March 8.
   As seeds at Indian Wells, Federer and Sock will receive first-round byes and open on March 10 or 11. Federer has won the singles title five times, tying Novak Djokovic for the record, and Sock won the doubles title with Vasek Pospisil of Canada in 2015.
   Federer never played in the SAP Open, the San Jose stop on the ATP World Tour that ended with Milos Raonic's third consecutive title in 2013. Federer has not been to San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. His only trip to the Bay Area was a one-day visit to Google.
   Tickets to the exhibition, starting at $30, can be purchased beginning Friday at 9 a.m. at the SAP Center box office, ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000.
   Also, a limited number of VIP ticket packages, including a question-and-answer session with Federer and Sock before the matches, are available.

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