French Open Champion Rafael Nadal Signs Deal With PokerStars

French Open tennis champion Rafael Nadal signed a sponsorship deal with PokerStars, both parties said today.

“I’ve joined the team at PokerStars to learn to play poker,” the Spaniard said on his Twitter account.

World No. 2 Nadal “will be aiming to take the same drive and passion he’s shown on the courts with him to the virtual felt,” the online poker company said on its website. In a PokerStars video, Nadal speaks to the camera and asks poker players to give him their “best advice” on how to win.

Since winning his first Grand Slam title in 2005, the 26- year-old Nadal has become one of the world’s leading sportsmen. The 11-time major singles champion is endorsed by companies including Nike Inc. (NKE) and Korean carmaker Kia Motors Corp. Forbes estimated his annual off-court earnings at $25 million. Nadal has made more than $50 million in prize money in his career.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh in London

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