International Professional Tennis League (ITPL) - blessing or curse?! - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

International Professional Tennis League (ITPL) – blessing or curse?!

Published

on

2014 will see the birth of ITPL, the planned International Tennis Premier League which has been modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League (PL) by former Indian Tennis Pro Mahesh Bhupathi, who began the sports agency Globosports. Here players will be playing matches which are scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 14. Four Asian cities—Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok, and Dubai. Participants will field teams and play each other in a round-robin format at all four locations. Each match will consist of a five-set series with one set each of men’s, women’s, doubles, mixed doubles, and legends competition. So far, the team owners have spent US-Dollars 23,975,000 on getting the players in their side, also there is talk about a fifth city expected to participate, but only four have been named up to now. This vast amount of money was spent assembling a first class player field with reports suggesting that top names like Nadal may receive one million US Dollar per match! Marquee names are expected to be able to pick how much they want to play.

 

Mixed echo among players and media

Players who have been drafted in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Muray and Serena Williams. “I think it’s a fantastic concept if it happens, obviously,” commented Novak Djokovic as a first response to this new format. Other top players, like Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and prominent Asian pros Na Li and Kei Nishikori have not signed up. “Firstly, I want to see whether it takes off or not,” Federer told the Gulf News. “I know a lot of people have invested in it or are part of it. Anywhere where tennis grows is a good thing, so I hope it takes off and becomes very successful. In Asia, there is enormous potential, in places like China and India due to the amount of people that live there and the excitement they have for tennis.”

There have also been questions about whether the league will receive the financial backing required to sustain it, as well as its scheduling during the offseason, which many players already complain is not long enough. “I think it will be great for tennis if it can be pulled off,” Sharapova and Li’s agent, Max Eisenbud, told CNN. “I just don’t see how it could ever work, but I hope I am wrong.”  In a column for Le Parisien, Montpellier tournament director Patrice Dominguez described the IPTL as having “no sporting interest and no credibility,” and said it was “wasting the health of the players.”

The teams for the first issue of the International Professional Tennis League are as follows, with each allowed to name up to a total of 10 players over the next few weeks:

Mumbai: Rafael Nadal, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, Pete Sampras, Fabrice Santoro

Dubai: Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Janko Tipsarevic, Malek Jaziri, Nenad Zimonic, Goran Ivanisevic, Martina Hingis


Bangkok: Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Victoria Azarenka, Daniel Nestor, Kirsten Flipkens, Carlos Moya

Singapore: Tomas Berdych, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Daniela Hantuchova, Bruno Soares, Patrick Rafter, Nick Krygios.

Initially, it was said the league will be played in five Asian cities and surprisingly India`s top singles star Somdev Devvarman is not part of any team so far. The 2014 season will feature 24 matches across the four host cities. The four teams will compete in a round-robin format in each of the four cities. The matches will be played in one city for three days, beginning in Singapore from November 28.
From there it will move to Bangkok (December 2,3,4), Mumbai (December 7,8,9) and Dubai (December 11, 12,13).

Former world number one Carlos Moya, who attended the draft, said, “I`m very excited to be part of this competition, and look forward to playing for Bangkok. I have fond memories from the days I`ve played there.” The owners can have up to 10 players on their roster and they will make their own additionals announcements in their relative cities over the next few weeks.

Already clouds on the horizon – Agassi’s participation still not clear

With the credibility of the nascent International Premier Tennis League still standing in some doubt, it was revealing to hear that Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras – two of the “icon” names drafted in the inaugural auction – remain unclear about who they are playing for. Or even, in Agassi’s case, whether they will be able to attend at all, as the American admitted that he had experienced a breakdown in communication with the league’s managers. He had offered to make himself available for a few days in December, only to hear that he had been drafted by Singapore, who play their home matches at the end of November. Or, in other words, during what Americans know as ‘Thanksgiving’ weekend, being THE family festivity of the year. “I learned that (…) to my very big surprise,” said Agassi. “I don’t have all the facts and if that’s 100 per cent accurate, we will be connecting with the organisers of the event to make sure nobody is left in the lurch.” (Simone Kemler)

Focus

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova splits with coach Sam Sumyk after seven months

Published

on

Sam Sumyk will no longer coach Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player got off to a good start to her 2020 season under the guidance of the French coach reached the quarter finals before losing to eventual finalist Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open but she has split from the French coach after seven months. Sumyk has confirmed the news to the French tennis website We love tennis. Earlier this yera Pavlyuchenkova won 19 of her 27 matches and reached the final in Moscow in the seven months under the guidance of Sumyk.

 

Pavlyuchenkova won two Junior Grand Slam titles and became the Junior world number 1 at the age of 14 in 2006. She reached her career-high of world number 13 in July 2011. The Russian player has won 12 singles titles and 5 doubles titles. She also reached six quarter finals at Grand Slam level at the 2011 French Open, at the 2011 US Open, at Wimbledon 2016 and at the Australian Open in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Sumik had previously coached two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka, former Wimbledon and Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza, former world number 2 Vera Zvonareva and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.

Under the guidane of Sumik Azarenka won her first Grand Slam title in 2012. The Belarusian player defended her title in Melbourne and climbed to the world number on eone year later.

The 53-year-old coach helped Muguruza clinch her maiden Grand Slam title at 2016 Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2017.

Continue Reading

Focus

Jannik Sinner sets Pizza Challenge to raise funds against Covid-19

Published

on

Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion Jannik Sinner set Pizza Challenge to raise funds against Covid-19.

 

The Italian player announced the news that he will donate 10 Euros alongside Starwing Sports for every photo of a pizza that resembles himself or any past or present Italian figure to raise funds for medical supplies in Italy during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to help fight the spread of the virus.

Sinner is currently training in Monte-Carlo during the break due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last February Sinner reached his first ATP 500 quarter final in Rotterdam after scoring the biggest win of his career against world number 10 David Goffin. He earned his first Grand Slam main draw win of career against Max Purcell at the Australian Open.

Continue Reading

Focus

Novak Djokovic agrees with the decision to postpone the Olympic Games

Published

on

This year’s Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic agrees with the decision of the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s authorities to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games until 2021.

 

The decision of postponing the Olympics was announced on 24th March through a joint statement made by the President of the International Olympic Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

Djokovic, who had prepared a pair of shoes inscribed with the words “Tokyo 2020”, thinks that the health of the people around the world is much more important.

“I am sad that the Olympic Games are postponed, but I am sure that it’s the right decision for the health of everyone involved. Let’s look forward to Tokyo 2021. Although the situation looks horrible in some parts of the world, I think that humanity in some parts of the world, Novak Djokovic thinks that humanity with get through it and can profit from it”, said Djokovic.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending