New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) Multiple Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 Rafael Nadal will make his debut in Season 2 of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), scheduled from December 2 to 20, as the marquee player of defending champions Indian Aces.
This time the tournament will have five teams with the inclusion of Japan Warriors, who will join the Aces, the UAE Royals, Philippine Mavericks and Singapore Slammers. The event will start in Japan and conclude in Singapore.
For company, Nadal will have Frenchman Gael Monfils, Pole Agnieszka Radwanska, Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, Croat Ivan Dodig, and two of India’s highly successful doubles stars — women’s World No.1 Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.
A major highlight this season will be the much anticipated encounter between long standing on-court rivals, Nadal and Roger Federer, who was the marquee player for Aces last year and will turn out for Royals this time around. Indian fans will get to be a part of the match-up when the Aces face Royals here on December 12.
“Season one brought some of the world’s biggest tennis stars to cities in Asia for the very first time in an exciting new format. The reception shown by fans was a revelation. This year the event will be bigger,” IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi said.
“We have added a big market in Japan and with both Nadal and Nishikori playing, fans will be in for a thrilling three weeks. Indian sports lovers have a lot to look forward to in Delhi from December 10 to 12.”
Tickets for the India leg go on sale from August 3 on ‘Book My Show’ and will be available at an exciting early bird discount for a limited duration. The second edition will start in Japan (December 2-4) and then proceed to Philippines (December 6-8), India (December 10-12), Dubai (December 14-16) and Singapore (December 18-20).
Indian ace Leander Paes will also take part in the tournament this year and will turn up for the Warriors.
“Leander playing is a big plus. There are very few people who can entertain on the tennis court. This format is fast and furious and when it comes to net play, he is the fastest guy in the world. So it is going to be quite exciting and it should be fun for the fans,” said the 41-year-old Bhupathi, who partnered Paes in his younger days.