Federer to lead IPTL's India franchise

New Delhi


Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will spearhead Indian Aces, the country's franchise owned by consumer electronics company Micromax, in the inaugural edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), it was announced here Monday.

However, Rafael Nadal, one of the greats of the sport who was to represent the Indian franchise, will not play in the Nov 28-Dec 13 tournament due to injury and the need for rehab time during the off season.

"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," said Nadal in a statement.

Marquee player Federer, 14-time Major champion Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, former French Open winner Ana Ivanovic, Fabrice Santoro, and Indian aces Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will make up the squad.

"Namaste India! I'm really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the 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," Swiss ace Federer said in a televised message.

It was also announced that the India leg will be held in New Delhi and not Mumbai, as was announced earlier. The India leg will be held at the IGI Stadium here Dec 6-8.

"I welcome Micromax to the IPTL family as owners of the India franchise. This December, New Delhi will witness tennis action like never before, one that will change the way people enjoy the sport," said IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi.

"As a tennis fan, I am excited to see Roger and Pete play for the same team, it's unprecedented! Indian sports fans are in for a real treat."

The four-franchisee event will be played in Manila, Singapore, New Delhi and Dubai. The other franchises have been named UAE Royals, Manila Mavericks and Singapore Slammers, all of whom will be vying for a total prize money of $1 million.

Each match will consist of five 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 total, and the team that wins the most games overall across the five sets wins the match.

The traditional scoring format has been changed to single-set no-add scoring which will speed up the games and allow fans to see up to 24 players in one evening. - IANS