London: Andre Agassi will snub the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) if it clashes with Thanksgiving, the former world No. 1 said the day after being signed up by the Singapore franchise.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion was named in Sunday’s player draft for the new Asia-based event but said he had since learned the first match would clash with the November holiday.
“It’s a good thing to take tennis to places in the world where they want to see it. There’s no downside in doing that,” Agassi said. “My agreement to do it was based on a few very specific conditions. Certainly economics played a little part in it but also time away played another part.
“I can’t be away for more than four or five days so I set some limitations and had some dates in December. Now I read in an email that the dates are over Thanksgiving,” said Agassi.
“That would be a non-starter for me. Six or seven days away is too much of a price to pay.”
Agassi was selected for Singapore along with Serena Williams and Tomas Berdych, while Sampras is set to join Rafael Nadal in the Mumbai team. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic head up the Bangkok and Dubai squads.
Sampras also appeared slightly in the dark on Monday.
“It’s happened in the last 24 hours,” he said. “I’ve just been in talks with them and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s a big endeavour by the guys who are putting the whole thing together. It’s not an easy thing to do though and we’ll have to see how it all plays out in the next weeks. I’ll get more details when I get home.”
The IPTL is scheduled to begin in Singapore on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving, and a week after the Davis Cup final.