Tennis Stars Play Soccer For Japan Relief
More than a dozen of the world's best tennis players, including No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic ( pictured ), took part in the Hope Match for Japan on Wednesday night: a charity exhibition on behalf of Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. The 23-year-old Serb, who served as captain of the ATP World Tour Allstars, helped organize the impromptu benefit.
David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal
Spanish compatriots David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal ( from left ) came off the bench despite their home country's status as World Cup champions.
Hope Match For Japan
A total of 17 ATP World Tour players took part in the 40-minute exhibition match against the NASL's Forth Lauderdale Strikers at Miami's Ranson Everglades School. The Strikers prevailed, 4-2. The ATP team's starters included Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, Feliciano Lopez, Juan Monaco, Richard Gasquet, Viktor Troicki, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jurgen Melzer, with Gasquet's physio in goal. Reserves included Nadal, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Potito Starace, Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, David Marrero, Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer.
Scotland's Murray scored for the ATP team.
Cyprus' Baghdatis also scored for the tennis players, bagging MVP honors in the losing effort.
Viktor Troicki, David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez
Serbia's Viktor Troicki ( right ) started for the ATP World Tour Allstars, while Spanish natives David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez ( from left ) came off the bench.
Melzer was among the starters for the ATP World Tour Allstars.
Lopez attempts a shot during Wednesday's exhibition, which was followed by a gala dinner. Proceeds from the two events will benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
Spain's Verdasco ( right ) celebrates during Wednesday's match.
Baghdatis plays a pass during Wednesday's match.
France's Tsonga runs with the ball during the match.
Verdasco attempts a shot during the charity benefit.
Murray shows his dejection after a near miss on goal.
The second-ranked Djokovic, who has won all 18 of his matches this season, felt compelled to help with the relief efforts. "I am very concerned for the people of Japan and think it is only right that we do whatever we can to help those in need," he said.
Murray, currently No. 5 in the ATP World Tour rankings, meets with the press after the match.