Roger Federer to lead Indian Challenge in inaugural International Premier Tennis League
The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), the sport's latest and most exciting event, today announced India’s leading consumer electronics company Micromax as owners of the ‘Indian Aces’, the League’s Indian franchise will be spearheaded by Roger Federer, who is arguably the biggest star in the sport.
Marquee player Roger Federer, 14 time Grand Slam Champion Pete Sampras and teammates Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, and Fabrice Santoro will make up the formidable Indian squad, setting foot in New Delhi from 6th – 8th December 2014. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal who was representing the team, has been forced to withdraw from the League due to injury and the need for rehab time during the off season.
In a televised message, Swiss ace Roger Federer said, “Namaste India! I'm really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Micromax Indian Aces. My team tells me that there are a lot of tennis fans and my supporters in the region, so I hope you can come out and support me in December. See you there!"
“I take this opportunity to welcome Micromax to the IPTL family as owners of the India franchise. I believe the time for innovation in tennis has come. This December, New Delhi will witness tennis action like never before - one that will change the way people enjoy the sport,” said Mahesh Bhupathi, Founder of the IPTL.
“As a tennis fan, I am excited to see Roger and Pete play for the same team, it’s unprecedented! I think Indian sports fans are in for a real treat,” Mahesh added.
Talking about the association, Co-founder Micromax, Rahul Sharma, said, “I would like to congratulate Mahesh on this great initiative, and we are very excited to own the India franchise in IPTL. We are delighted to have the best names from the world of tennis with Roger Federer spearheading the challenge of Indian Aces. This partnership is part of our vision to bring India to the forefront of world class sporting events. Our long term intent is to bring a transformation for sports in India by developing world-class sports infrastructure in the country to encourage more youth to take up professional sport.”
“The IPTL is a challenging initiative taken by Bhupathi in bringing the highest level of tennis to Asia in a competitive format. It is our privilege to partner with the organizers and team owners to make this event a great success for sports fans in India. We are proud to host the world’s top players in New Delhi and are confident that this will be the right impetus for the growth of tennis in Asia,” said Anil Khanna, President, Asian Tennis Federation (ATF).
Speaking about his exit, Rafael Nadal said, “I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be part of the first edition of the IPTL. I was looking forward to representing Indian Aces and playing in front of fans in New Delhi in the exciting new League. I wish the team the very best and hope to be back next year.”
Some of the world’s biggest names will arrive in New Delhi to participate in the inaugural edition of the IPTL that promises to change the way the world experiences the top sport. The Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the national capital will host the India leg of this prestigious event. The Stadium with its over 15,000 spectator seating capacity is the largest indoor sports arena in India and the third-largest in Asia. It has a tradition of hosting noteworthy sports events and is the ideal Indian venue for the IPTL.
The new team tennis competition featuring the best current and former male and female players will be played across 4 selected cities in Asia (Manila, Singapore, Delhi and Dubai) from 28 November to 13 December 2014. Each match will consist of 5 sets played by different players that will include men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and Legends singles. Each game won counts as one point for the team points total and the team that wins the most games overall across the five sets wins the match.
The IPTL matches will feature live entertainment, a running shot clock and many more features to ’Break the Code’ of the traditional etiquette of tennis to attract a new audience to the sport across the world.
The League will feature 4 teams in the inaugural season before adding additional franchises to the calendar with the Indian “Aces” competing against the UAE “Royals”, Manila “Mavericks” and Singapore “Slammers” for a total prize money of USD 1 million.
The IPTL format has been designed in a manner that will be very attractive to broadcasters and fans. The traditional scoring format has been changed to single-set no-add scoring which will speed up the games and allow the fans to up to 24 different players in one evening while the broadcasters for the first time, will be able to schedule predictable start and finish times of each match. Each match will consist of 5 sets played by different players (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and former Champions singles) and each game won counts as one point for the team points total - the team that wins the most games overall across the five sets wins the match.
Fans will see coaches calling for ‘time outs’ in the middle of a game, announcing a ‘power point’ and play a ’shoot out’ to decide the winners of each match while live entertainment, a running shot clock and many more features will ’Break the Code’ of the traditional etiquette of tennis to attract a new audience to the sport!