The much anticipated inaugural edition of International Premier Tennis League that is set to kick-off in Manila in Philippines with the initial leg to be played on November 28 to 30 this year. The great news for the IPTL organizers has been the announcement of Russian Tennis star Maria Sharapova joining the tournament and will lead Manila Mavericks along with British No. 1 Andy Murray playing for the side. The other groups apart from Manila Mavericks are Indian Aces led by Rafael Nadal, UAE Falcons led by Novak Djokovic and Singapore Lions by Serena Williams.
Five times grand slam open champion, 27-year-old Maria Sharapova confirmed her presence for the event through her Twitter account as she posted, “Yes! First time visiting Philippines! #askingcoachforsomevacaydaystoo”. Manila Mavericks consists of herself along with Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor, Kirsten Flipkens, and Fil-Am Grand Slam doubles campaigner Treat Huey.
Indian Aces led by reigning French Open and 14-time Grand Slam singles champion Rafael Nadal boasts of the team comprising of tennis great Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro.
UAE Falcons will see Wimbledon 2014 and top ranked player Novak Djokovic leading the side. Their side consists of Caroline Wozniacki, Janko Tipsarevic, Malek Jaziri, Richard Gasquet, Nenad Zimonijc and Goran Ivanisevic.
Seventeen-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams will lead the Singapore Lions side with legend Andre Agassi, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Daniela Hantuchova, Bruno Soares and Patrick Rafter in the team.
The International Premier Tennis League or IPTL is first of its kind in the tennis world is a championship league on the lines of cricketing cash-rich event Indian Premier League and has been ideated by Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi.
Apart from the first leg in Manila in Philippines, the IPTL Tour will also have stop with the second leg will be played on Dec. 2-4 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Dec. 6-8 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in India, and on Dec. 11-13 at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
The International Premier Tennis League founded by Mahesh Bhupathi and has been styled like IPL. The format of IPTL will allow the four teams to play each other in every tour stop. There will be a total of two ties per day with each consists of a men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and the twist which pits former champions in a singles match.