Being a billionaire has its privileges. While the millionaires of the world can simply buy the best tennis gear like you and I buy our morning coffees, or put a hard court in their backyard without having to cut back on expenses, it’s only the truly rich that can say to themselves, “I wonder if I could play tennis with Roger Federer.”—and actually be serious.
Such is the life of Bill Gates, the former head of Microsoft and noted philanthropist, who has not only struck up a friendship with the Swiss superstar, but has indeed played tennis with Federer—on the same team.
In front of millions watching around the world, no less, and at an event that raised untold dollars for charitable causes, 2020’s “The Match for Africa.” As part of it, Gates also got to play against Rafael Nadal (and fellow celebrity Trevor Noah):
On Tuesday, Gates flexed his muscle, so to speak, with a tweet—not to Roger or Rafa, but to another iconic athlete in his sport: Ben Johns, the 23-year-old thought by many to already be the best pickleball player ever. Hey, with Federer on the mend, Gates needed to keep active. And he’s doing so in a sport that he knows quite well, as you’ll see in the below video:
.@BenJohns_pb any tips for my form?
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 26, 2022
Fifty-seven minutes after Gates’ question—people tend to pay attention to billionaires—Johns responded with some insight and an invitation.
Nice classic tennis volley form, but don’t want any T-Rex arms on those groundies. We can work on that though 🙂 @BillGates
— Ben Johns (@BenJohns_pb) July 26, 2022
You can say that Ben Johns is no Roger Federer. You can have your feelings one way or the other on the tennis vs. pickleball debate. But you cannot deny that it’s pretty good to be Bill Gates lately.