A photo photo taken with a drone shows an aerial view of the Mexico Bullring during a tennis exhibition match between Swiss tennis player Roger Federer and German tennis player Alexander Zvererv in Mexico City, Mexico, 23 November 2019. - EPA/MADLA HARTZ

MEXICO CITY: Broadcaster ESPN claimed a new world record for attendance at a tennis match on Saturday, with more than 42,000 people watching Germany's Alexander Zverev go down 6-3, 4-6, 2-6 to Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Mexico City.

That smashed an almost decade-old record of 35,681 set at an exhibition game between Belgian Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams in Belgium in 2010.

ESPN put the exact number of fans in Mexico City’s bullring at 42,517.

Even before Saturday's match, Federer had announced his intention to set a new world record for attendance when he meets Rafael Nadal in an exhibition match in South Africa in February.

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (L) and German Alexander Zverev (R) pose for the cameras after an exhibition match at Monumental Plaza de Toros Mexico bullring in Mexico City, Mexico, 23 November 2019 (issued 25 November 2019). The world's largest bullring was transformed into a tennis stadium to host the exhibition match between Federer and Zverev. The match established a new world record 'for attendance at a tennis match', a new record number of 42,517 was reported. - EPA/Jose Mendez

That duel will be staged at the Cape Town Stadium, which has a capacity of 55,000. It will also have the draw of a preceding doubles match in which Federer will partner Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Nadal will play alongside South African comedian Trevor Noah. -- REUTERS