The Telegraph
Monday , March 3 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Nadal to team up with Sampras for Mumbai

- Novak will spearhead Dubai; Bangkok gets Murray

Dubai: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will play for the Mumbai team, which will also have India’s doubles stars Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, in the inaugural International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) according to the players’ draft released by the organisers, here, on Sunday.

The team owners met in Dubai and a tentative schedule with four confirmed teams, including Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok, was released.

So far, the team owners have spent $23,975,000 on getting the players in their side.

The league, a brainchild of Mahesh Bhupathi, will begin on November 28 in Singapore and conclude on December 14 in Dubai.

Initially, it was said the league will be played in five Asian cities and surprisingly India’s top singles star Somdev Dev Varman 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.

Frenchman Gael Monfils, American great Pete Sampras, former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and Fabrice Santoro are the other players to play for Mumbai.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovoic will spearhead the challenge of Dubai. Caroline Wozniacki, Goran Ivanisevic, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonic, Malek Jaziri and Martina Hingis will be his teammates.

Reigning Wimbledon champion and world No. 7 Andy Murray has been taken by Bangkok, which also has, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Victoria Azarenka, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya and Kirsten Flipkens.

Women’s World No. 1 Serena Williams will lead Singapore. Andre Agassi, Tomas Berdych, former world No. 1 from Australia Lleyton Hewitt, Bruno Soares, Patrick Rafter, Daniela Hantuchova and Nick Krygios complete the Singapore team.

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 No. 1 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 announcements in their respective cities over the next few weeks.