Rafael Nadal terrifies fans in helicopter stunt ahead of Ronaldo clash

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Rafael Nadal hasn't even returned to action since the injury that ruled him out of the US Open, but he has had enough time to leave his fans fearing even more serious pain.

The Spaniard, with no sort of piloting skills, took to the controls of a helicopter in his home country and promised to take his 'customers' on a trip around the mountains.

His unsuspecting passengers had no idea that the 14-time Grand Slam finalist was due to be their pilot and they seemed very surprised that Nadal had this sort of qualification.


Surprise soon turned to terror, however, when the 28-year-old admitted he hadn't gained his helicopter pilot's license and had only had a few hours flying time.

It got even worse when attempting to turn the helicopter on, after failing to start the engine - smoke then started billowing out of the machine as his passengers fled fearing their lives.

Thankfully, the drama had been organised as a publicity stunt by PokerStars ahead of Nadal's rematch with former Brazilian footballer Ronaldo. Nobody was hurt! 

The famous sporting duo are headline players for PokerStars, and they are two of just a number of high-profile sportsmen who enjoy the card game. Australian cricket legend Shane Warne is also a keen player.

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This particular exercise was to test how good the former world no.1 was at bluffing before his match with the former world player of the year. Nadal seemed to pass it as well, all of the passengers were convinced enough to take their seats.

While flying may not be high on Nadal's list of special talents, Ronaldo will be hoping his card skills aren't as good as his bluffing or his tennis (though it has been a while since the world no.2 graced the court.)

Flushing Meadows was short of a two-time past winner after Nadal was forced to withdraw because of a wrist injury. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, two of his great rivals, were expected to take advantage, but their respective semi-final failures meant Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori were the unlikely contestants of their maiden major finals.


Cilic strolled to victory in a one-sided, rather uninspiring New York finale and Nadal will be expected to spice things up on his return.

Fans of the popular Majorcan-born star will hope to see their idol return to action at Masters events in Shanghai and Paris before the season ends at the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena.  

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