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When it comes to a perfect match, it doesn’t get any better than tennis champs Andy Roddick and Roger Federer. Put them together and you have magic for any tennis or philanthropy fan. Call it Roger Comes To Austin.

Last night Federer was in Austin for one night only for an entertaining and thought-provoking conversation about his career and the sport of tennis with former competitor, longtime friend, and Austin’s own Andy Roddick, chairman of the Andy Roddick Foundation. We all know Federer is in the running to be named the greatest athlete of all time. After all, he’s the winner of 20 Grand Slam singles titles (the most in male tennis history).

The event, deftly moderated by NBC Sports commentator Mary Carillo, flowed smoothly with intermittent video clips from Roddick and Federer’s tennis careers as young boys to evolved tennis stars. This special event featured a conversation between two tennis greats, as well as an audience Q&A session. The conversation spanned a wide range of topics, including their shared tennis experiences and the importance of philanthropy in the sport and in life.

The evening supported the Andy Roddick Foundation, which provides high quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and families in communities where there are few opportunities. Recognizing there is more than one reason children and families have few opportunities, the Foundation works on more than one front. The Foundation handcrafts a six-week summer learning program, overnight spring break camp and family nights; invests in innovative after school and summer community programs; provides public education; and calls on local, state and federal officials to help provide real opportunities for all children outside the classroom.

The Foundation is singularly focused on re-creating over and over again that moment Andy had at nine when he first picked up a tennis racket. In that moment, he experienced possibility. That’s how Roddick himself sparks Wide-Eyed & Smiley, the Foundation’s motto.

Photo: Mary Carillo, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick

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