to team-up with Sampras for Mumbai in new league
Send a link to a friend
[March 03, 2014]
MUMBAI (Reuters) - World number one
Rafa Nadal will team up with 14-times major champion Pete Sampras for
Mumbai in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) later
this year, tournament organizers said on Sunday.
Serena Williams, the top-ranked women's player, will headline the
Singapore team alongside Tomas Berdych and Andre Agassi in the
off-season tournament from November28 to December14, which is styled
on cricket's franchise-based Indian Premier League.
Four teams - Bangkok and Dubai being the others - will compete in
men's and women's singles, men's and mixed doubles and a men's
legends singles with one set per match, and no advantage scoring.
Serb Novak Djokovic and former women's number one Caroline Wozniacki
will lead Dubai while Britain's Andy Murray, Frenchman Jo
Wilfried-Tsonga and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus were picked by
Bangkok when the teams were drafted on Sunday in Dubai.
The 2014 season will feature 24 matches across the four host cities
with all four teams competing in a round-robin format in each of the
four cities, organizers said.
"As an Indian and the owner of the tournament I'm delighted that the
world number one Rafa Nadal is playing for an Indian city," promoter
Mahesh Bhupathi said on Sunday.
"I think the teams are evenly balanced, I'm happy for the players
who have been picked."
The IPTL has been generally well-received by the world's top players
although not all have signed up.
Roger Federer, winner of a record 17 grand slam titles, and former
women's world No.1 Maria Sharapova will not be appearing.
[to top of second column]
"I don't know that much about it to be honest," Federer said in
Dubai this week where he won the title.
"I wish I could tell you exactly what's going on. I just didn't sign
up because I didn't want to. I just first wanted to see it get off
Some will question why players who have regularly raised concerns
about the length of the season are willing to take long-haul flights
to play matches in the short off-season.
It promises to be extremely lucrative, however, with organizers
saying Sunday's initial draft had seen an outlay of $24 million with
salaries for each team expected to be between $4 and $10 million.
"Really happy that I was drafted for Dubai...Thanks," Serbia's Janko
Tipsarevic said on Twitter while his compatriot Ana Ivanovic said
she was happy to join Nadal playing for Mumbai.
"So excited to learn I have been picked for #Mumbai team for #IPTL!
Can't wait to get on court and get together with my great teammates!
:))" she said.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly, additional reporting by Martyn Herman
in London; editing by Steve Tongue and Pritha Sarkar)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.