Rafa Roundup: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are box office gold for Miami

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… Nadal and Federer are box office gold for any tournament and with the Spaniard missing due to a knee injury and the Swiss maestro on an extended break last year’s attendance dropped 5.5 percent to 308,000. “Anytime you have two stars the size of Roger and Rafa, guys who are bigger than the sport, bigger than tennis, missing it hurts,” tournament director Adam Barrett told Reuters on Monday.”These guys are superstars, they draw crowds whether they are at the airport, a hotel or walking through a mall.

…Ten years have now passed since the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry tossed up its first tennis ball at the Miami 2004 NASDAQ-100 Open. It was a beginning that nobody could have foreseen. Who knew that this quiet, third-round match would plant the seeds to grow a golden age of tennis?

… So, tonight Rafa sat down for an hour with Daniel Negreanu at his side and took on the world in a game of six-max Zoom on PokerStars. While Rafa played, his fans played along and asked questions during the live webcast of the event… Over the course of the next sixty minutes, Rafa answered questions from fans about everything from his toughest opponents to his favorite shampoo. What’s more, the native Spaniard spoke in English the entire time while still trying to concentrate on poker’s fastest action.

… “Usually when they come by, we close the salon,” Farel explained. “Sometimes Nadal comes in the middle of clients, giving kisses and hugging and giving pictures to everyone. I thought that was really wonderful that he was so humble.” “His hair helps with his performance, and it’s very important to him for sure,” he said. “It’s a power weapon. When he comes to my chair, I do what I want. I usually give him a look where it’s framing his face properly. We also try to make sure when he takes off his bandana, his hair falls into place.”

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