There’s no rest for Roger Federer and other stars. Back near the top of the rankings, and fresh from his long-awaited Davis Cup triumph with Switzerland, Roger Federer and others are getting ready for the International Premier Tennis League that gets under way on Friday, 28 November, 2014.
Joining Federer in the franchise-based, short-format competition will be the top-ranked players in men’s and women’s tennis, with Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams also signed up to play.
The IPTL will launch with a tournament at Manila this week. Singapore, New Delhi and Dubai are the other stops for the $ 1 million event that runs till 13 December.
Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are among the retired greats who’ll feature in the tournament that will be contested by four teams – the Manila Mavericks, Singapore Slammers, Indian Aces and United Arab Emirates Royals.
”It is a revolutionary team tennis event breaking through the boundaries of traditional tennis formats”, IPTL founder and former doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi said ahead of the tournament, which he hopes to convert to an eight-team league by 2020.
”But we need to be sustainable and we don’t want to be too aggressive – we want to make sure that along the lines other people also see it as a viable business model”.
The format includes men’s and women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and legends singles matches. Essentially, it’s an exhibition with a competitive streak.
Each fixture will consist of five one-set matches, which could be decided by a four-minute shootout at 5-5 rather than a traditional tiebreaker.
There will be no advantage scores and the outcome will be decided by aggregating games won from all five matches rather than the match results.
There will also be ‘power points’ which will give players a chance to double up on a point in each match by nominated it before receiving serve. Other additions include time-outs.
Williams, who won the season-ending WTA title in Singapore last month, said ”I’m looking forward to coming back to Singapore and playing for the Singapore Slammers. I hope you’ll enjoy a new format of tennis”.