Stars to play charity football for Japan

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Stars to play charity football for Japan

MIAMI - World No.1 Rafael Nadal and No.2 Novak Djokovic will lead a set of tennis stars in a charity football match on Wednesday to raise money for relief missions in earthquake and tsunami-hit Japan.

Britain’s Andy Murray and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will also be among those who will drop their rackets and compete with their feet ahead of their opening tennis matches in a $9 million ATP and WTA hardcourt event.

The tennis stars will face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a second-level U.S. pro squad, at Ransom Everglades High School with a dinner afterward. Proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross relief effort in Japan.

“I’m very concerned for the people of Japan and think it is only right that we do whatever we can to help those in need,” Djokovic said. “I would love to see all of Miami support both events.”

Other ATP players set to take the field include Frenchman Richard Gasquet; Spaniards David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez; Serbian Viktor Troicki; Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

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