New York, NY (Sports Network) - The BNP Paribas Showdown will be staged Monday night, as women's world No. 1 star Serena Williams and former top- ranked men's stalwart Rafael Nadal will be among the combatants playing exhibition tennis at New York's famed Madison Square Garden.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion Williams will take on former No. 1 and reigning Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, while the 11-time major titlist Nadal will battle former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro. Azarenka beat Williams, who has been nursing back and ankle injuries, in a WTA final in Doha three weeks ago.
The MSG event features players who have won a Grand Slam tournament or been a year-end No. 1. Andy Roddick beat Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova topped Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in last year's action.
Both the ATP World Tour and WTA will be in Indian Wells, Calif., later this week for the lucrative BNP Paribas Open, which serves as a Masters event for the men and Premier tournament for the women.