British No. 1 Andy Murray and French Open champion Maria Sharapova are the latest key additions to the Manila Mavericks team for the International Premier Tennis League, according to the organization’s latest press release.
The IPTL is a new team tennis competition featuring the best current and former ATP and WTA players across 4 selected cities in Asia (Manila, Singapore, Delhi, Dubai).The IPTL will feature 4 teams in the inaugural season, before adding additional franchises to the calendar, with the Manila team competing against the UAE Royals, Singapore Slammersand the Indian Aces for the total prize money of USD 1.0 million. All teams will feature top class players from the men’s and women’s side as well as past champions.
The Manila team will boast of Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray as the Mavericks top players, and will be joined by their teammates Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kirsten Flipkens, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya and top Philippines player Treat Huey.
“It was time for innovations in tennis and similar to what the IPL has done in cricket, I imagine the IPTL will do for tennis” states Mahesh Bhupathi, founder of the IPTL. Mahesh, himself a winner of 53 ATP Tour titles continues that “the IPTL format will be very attractive to broadcasters and fans alike.
“We have changed the traditional scoring format to single-set no-ad scoring which will speed up the games and allows us to expose the fans to up to 24 different players in one evening. For the first time,broadcasters will be able to schedule predicable starting and finish times of each match. Each match will consist of 5 sets played in different formats by different players (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and former Champions’ singles) and each game won counts as one point for the team points total. The team that wins the most games overall, across the five sets, wins the match.”
The IPTL tournament takes place between 28 November and 13 December 2014. After the Manila leg in November, the IPTL will transition to Singapore on December 2-4, Delhi on December 6-8, and Dubai from December 11-13.