International Tennis Premier League could see millions invested in the game
In the same way that the Indian Premier League has quickly become the number one competition in cricket, a similar setup will soon be launched for tennis.
The International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) will welcome stars of the sport from all over the world and much like the IPL, will see millions of pounds thrown around to ensure the best teams sign the best players.
The brain child of Indian tennis veteran, Mahesh Bhupathi, the ITPL will consist of games lasting five sets with each set contested in the different formats of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and a legend’s singles.
Although not all the sport’s biggest stars have signed up to the programme, with the tournament’s auction set to take place this weekend in Dubai, big names such as Rafael Nadal appear convinced that this format is set to succeed.
The Spanish world number one is expected to earn around $1million a night when he competes in the tournament, which is set to take place between 28th November and 20th December.
Five team cities have been named as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong, with home and away fixtures meaning each side will play eight games over the four weeks.
The other top players who have shown in interest are reigning Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki.
It is also reported that Swiss great Roger Federer, 32, is not keen on taking part in the event in a already crammed calendar while Andy Murray is still in talks with Bhupathi, who was part of the Scot’s commercial team briefly.
A report published by the Telegraph quoted a tennis insider as saying: “Although the players are still sceptical, nobody wants to miss out on a possible money spinner, so a lot of them are putting their names down for Friday’s reveal.
“When the money starts being paid into their accounts, that’s when they will start believing that this concept is for real.”