Rafael Nadal is preparing to join a league of champions in Asia…
The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star has signed up to participate in the inaugural edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams are all confirmed for the exhibition league that begins in late November in Asia.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Li Na are not set to take part in the IPTL.
Indian doubles specialist, Mahesh Bhupathi, came up with the idea for the league, which will hope to be as successful as cricket’s Indian Premier League.
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“The IPTL is the ﬁrst-of-its-kind Asian tennis league with a unique concept bringing together the best tennis players from across the world on the same platform,” the IPTL said in a news release.
The format sees five teams, based in Mumbai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and a yet to be confirmed city, play home and away matches. The matches are best-of-five sets but incorporate different sets — men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and legends.
The official players list includes Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in the legends category.
Questions still remain about how many matches the top players will play and how players will manage their schedules leading into January’s Australian Open.
Over the years, players have complained about how long the tennis season lasts — between 10 and 11 months — and the IPTL is scheduled to run from November 28 to December 20.