Cricket, Football, Golf and even Badminton had their own versions of ‘˜Premier League’ but why Tennis stay behind? Well, Tennis has introduced its own version of ‘˜Premier League’ with the ITPL or International Tennis Premier League.
Cricket, Football, Golf and even Badminton had their own versions of ‘Premier League’ but why Tennis stay behind? Well, Tennis has introduced its own version of ‘Premier League’ with the ITPL or International Tennis Premier League. The 2014 IPTL season will kick-off with 24 matches across the four host cities in the Middle East and Asia that include Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok, Mumbai and Dubai. In this unique format, all four teams will be competing in a round-robin format in each of the four cities. With already 24 million dollars splurged on big players, the team owners are in line to make more moves. By the rules, the owners are allowed to add and have up to 10 players on their roster. By that time, team owners are due to make their own announcements in their relative cities over the next few weeks.
So all set and done, the 2014 IPTL will start in Singapore on November 28. Host of big stars are lined up in the sides and here are some talking points from the coveted league.
Rafael Nadal comes to Mumbai!
Mumbaikars would have expected this but it’s worth their time; world number 1, Rafael Nadal will be plying his trade for the Mumbai franchise. He joins the likes of Gael Monfils, legendary Pete Sampras and Ana Ivanovic in the side. Mumbai may not be a hub for many tennis stars but the arrival of Rafa Nadal could lead to huge ticket sales and a bumper crowd turnout.
Has Roger Federer said No?
The biggest miss of this tourney is the absence of 17-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer. The Swiss Ace has decided to opt out as he expressed his doubts regarding the success of the tournament and whether it would actually take off.
Other ‘big’ absentees
The likes of Maria Sharapova and Li Na too declined to play in the ITPL. Fans in the Middle East and Asia would have hoped for their Asian champion, Li Na to play on their turf but unfortunately it won’t be. Sharapova too has cast doubt over the success of the tournament and is the sole reason behind her absence.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Serena Williams add to the glitz
Even though the likes of Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova stayed away, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Andy Murray was a welcome relief. Tennis is a big sport in these parts of the world and with the star names in the franchises, expect a huge turnout!
Mahesh Bhupathi should be lauded for this effort of launching the International Tennis Premier League. Without his efforts, the likes of Nadal or Djokovic couldn’t have made it to the Asian and Middle East cities. Indian tennis star is said to be the brainchild behind this tourney and though it may not be as huge as a Grand Slam, it could be the one to help spread the sport of tennis amongst these four cities.