2001 Wimbledon champ Goran Ivanišević is among 28 current and former tennis stars who are about to write another chapter in the sport’s history when they battle it for millions in the The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in November…
Based on crickets wealthy Indian Premier League (IPL), the IPTL is the brainchild of former player Mahesh Bhupathi, and will see four franchises battle it out in four cities: Manila, Dubai, Delhi and Singapore, from 28 November to 29 December for a prize pool of close to 30 million USD.
The four franchises are: Manila Mavericks, U.A.E. Royals, Singapore Slammers and Indian Aces, with Croatia’s Ivanišević to play for the U.A.E. Royals franchise. Goran’s team will also feature world number one Novak Đoković, Richard Gasquet, Nenad Zimonjić, Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard and Malek Jaziri.
Andy Murray will play for the Manila Mavericks, in a team that features Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova, Kirsten Flipkens, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor and Treat Huey. The Singapore Slammers will be led by women’s number one Serena Williams, and will include Goran’s arch rival Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Patrick Rafter, Tomaš Berdych, Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova. The Indian Aces side will be star Roger Federer, Gaël Monfils, another of Goran’s rivals from his playing days Pete Sampras, Rohan Bopanna, Fabrice Santoro, Sania Mirza and Ana Ivanovic.
Four teams consisting of up to ten players will compete in 24 best-of-five round robin matches consisting of a set each for men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and, if required, a legends singles tiebreak to decide the match. Unlike in a standard match of tennis, whereas the tiebreak would be invoked if the score reached 6–all in a set, it will be invoked if the score reaches 5–all in any set
“I am looking forward to the new challenge of playing in the Premier League,” said Federer, who was drafted in to replace Rafael Nadal.
Organisers hope that the event takes off and becomes a regular fixture.