There’s been a lot of frenzy regarding the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) the past few days. Reports of Delhi leg tickets getting sold out in just 20 minutes suggest that Indian fans are eagerly waiting to watch their favourite superstars.
Come 28th November and a bevy of tennis mega stars will be descending in Asia for the 16-day extravaganza. The Mahesh Bhupathi-founded IPTL surely brings a once in a lifetime chance for tennis fans in Asia to catch their tennis Gods in action.
Here’s a look at ten of the biggest and most popular names who will be participating in IPTL –
Roger Federer (Micromax Indian Aces)
Watching the legendary 17-time Grand Slam champion weave his magic on the court is a dream for any sports lover. The Swiss superstar commands respect all over the world and has a massive fan following in India. Roger did not sign up for the IPTL originally but was pulled in when 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal pulled out. So the Indian fans will now get to watch those flowing ground strokes from Roger Federer at close quarters.
Novak Djokovic (UAE Royals)
Holder of seven Grand Slam crowns, Novak Djokovic is the most sought after star from the tennis world. His passion and flexibility on the court are a treat to watch. Not only that, the World No. 1 has an inimitable sense of humor. And with his superb ability to quickly grasp different languages, he mesmerizes crowds wherever he goes.
Andy Murray (Manila Mavericks)
The two-time Grand Slam champion and 2012 Olympic gold medallist was part of the erstwhile ATP’s ‘Big 4’. Being a top 10 player for the better part of the last six years, the Scot is surely one of the biggest attractions. Murray is upbeat about promoting tennis in newer regions and is looking forward to bringing new fans. ‘’Attracting new fans to the sport is important and I am looking forward to helping take tennis to new places,’’ Murray said.
Serena Williams (Singapore Slammers)
Even at 33, the hunger, poise and confidence Serena exudes on the court are exemplary. She is the oldest World No. 1 in the history of WTA and still seems hungry for more glory. Watching the 18-time major winner wield her racquet on the court is a matter of privilege.
Maria Sharapova (Manila Mavericks)
With a tennis resume consisting of five Grand Slams and gorgeous looks to die for, Maria Sharapova’s popularity is ever-soaring. She leaped into the hearts of tennis fans ever since she won the Wimbledon as a fiesty 17-year-old. She is now a veteran on the Tour but her fighting spirit remains the same. The Russian entered the IPTL by replacing former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and is definitely one of its biggest stars.
Ana Ivanovic (Micromax Indian Aces)
This year has seen Ana Ivanovic finally returning to the stellar form that gave her the French Open trophy and the World No. 1 ranking in 2008. She is enjoying her tennis once again and has won four titles this year. Tennis aficionados are keen to see if she can continue with her rollicking form in the next season. Ana herself is excited about IPTL and fans too will be flocking to see her.
Eugenie Bouchard (UAE Royals)
The bubbly 20-year-old has stunned the world this year with a maturity that is beyond her years. In just her second full year on the WTA circuit, she notched up an impressive 19 singles wins in the Grand Slam events – the highest by any WTA player this year. The breakthrough season helped her to climb up the rankings fast and become a popular figure in the tennis world.
Caroline Wozniacki (UAE Royals)
Caroline Wozniacki who went through a personal turmoil in the early part of the year, rebounded very well to have a remarkable year. She reached the US Open final and ended the season on a high. The Dane, recently completed the New York Marathon in a remarkable example of her fitness. Wozniacki is lovingly called Miss Sunshine for her breezy personality, and she is looking forward to having a lot of fun at the IPTL. ‘’I definitely think that it’s going to be great, and it’s going to be a lot of fun as well. I’m on a team with Novak and we’re good friends. He’s always hilarious,’’ Wozniacki said.
Sania Mirza (Micromax Indian Aces)
One of the biggest superstars in the subcontinent, Sania Mirza has had a dream season this year. With a Grand Slam trophy, an Asian Games gold and the prestigious WTA Finals title, she has set her sights on the World No. 1 doubles ranking next year. Sania is in the same team as Roger Federer and is thoroughly excited to be playing alongside him. ‘’I think I am personally excited to be in the same team as Roger Federer,’’ said Sania Mirza.
Pete Sampras (Micromax Indian Aces) and Andre Agassi (Singapore Slammers)
They are two of the biggest retired legends who will grace the court during the IPTL. Watching the two former World No. 1s will definitely elicit a lot of nostalgia amongst mature fans who have been watching tennis for years. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for young tennis lovers who missed witnessing the delicious forehands and backhands of these stars during their heydays.
So all in all the IPTL promises a great viewing pleasure for tennis fans.Follow all the action of IPTL on Sports Rediscovered.