Tennis rivals Nadal, Djokovic aim to break world record

World's top-ranked players hope to draw 80K fans for charity

Published On: Apr 11 2012 01:52:44 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 11 2012 06:57:21 PM EDT
Tennis star Rafael Nadal

They already have the record for the longest final in grand slam history, and now tennis rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are preparing to make history again in an ambitious bid to attract the biggest crowd.

The world's top-ranked players will go head-to-head in a special match for charity at Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium on July 14.

No. 1 Djokovic and his predecessor Nadal hope to draw 80,000 fans -- which would smash the previous record set by two of the sport's top women players.

The Spanish football club's pitch will be transformed into a tennis court, with the event taking place in the gap between between Wimbledon and the London Olympics.

The showdown is the result of a partnership between two charities, the Real Madrid Foundation and the Rafa Nadal Foundation, and aims to raise money for disadvantaged children.

Djokovic and Spaniard Nadal made history at the Australian Open in January, when the Serb won his fifth grand slam title in a five-set epic lasting almost six hours.

Now they hope to shatter the record for the largest turnout at an exhibition match -- set in July 2010 when 35,681 people watched Kim Clijsters beat fellow former world No. 1 Serena Williams in Brussels.

Nadal, a Real Madrid supporter who tries to attend as many matches as possible, said he was thrilled to be taking part in the historic event.

"Back to practicing, very happy because the Rafa Nadal Foundation's event has been confirmed at Bernabeu!" he announced on his Facebook page.

Nadal still leads 16-14 in career clashes with Djokovic, despite losing the last seven of their finals meetings.