Leander Paes is expected to join the Mahesh Bhupathi-founded International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) this season. Media reports suggest that the 41-year-old doubles ace wants to keep himself free for the year-end tennis extravaganza.
Leander Paes raised doubts about IPTL last April
In April last year, the 15-time Grand Slam champion had raised serious doubts about the viability of the league launched by his estranged doubles partner.
“IPTL is not sustainable at all. There is no transparency; nobody knows where it is going,” Paes had claimed.
Paes refused to be a part of IPTL
In December 2014, it was even revealed by Bhupathi that Paes had refused to take part in IPTL. Leander, instead, chose to participate in the pan-India tennis league – the Champions Tennis League (CTL) where he was part of the team, Punjab Marshalls.
However, all that seems to be in the past now as the two doubles veterans aim to bury the hatchet. Perhaps the success and popularity of the first season of IPTL influenced Leander to make this decision. The influx of some of the biggest stars – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Pete Sampras, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova – made IPTL one of the most-watched sports events in Asia.
IPTL 2015 Players Draft on April 12
With the IPTL aiming for expansion this year, the league is surely looking to establish a firm foothold amongst tennis lovers across Asia. The players draft for this season will be held in Dubai on April 12.
We can only wait till then to get a confirmation of Leander’s inclusion. The two Indian tennis stars have brought enough laurels together for their country and nothing is more welcome than seeing them settle their differences. Here’s to more of the Paes-Bhupathi charm!