World No. 3 Roger Federer announced that he would be taking part in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League competition, which takes place between Nov. 28 and Dec. 13. His decision to join the tournament alleviates the repercussions of Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the tournament on Monday.
“I’m really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Indian Aces,” Federer said.
While it was officially announced that world No. 2 Rafael Nadal would take part in the Beijing and Shanghai tournaments in October, it appears the Spaniard still aims to remain cautious during the off-season and has subsequently withdrawn from the IPTL.
The Spaniard cited health reasons as the main factor behind his decision. The IPTL confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
“I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be part of the first edition of the IPTL,” Nadal, 28, said in a statement. “I was looking forward to representing Indian Aces and playing in front of fans in New Delhi in the exciting new league. I wish the team the very best and hope to be back next year.”
“When you are talking of profile as high as Rafa Nadal, there was probably only one name that could have helped ease the pain and for us fortunately Roger was available and we made it happen,” the IPTL’s founder, Mahesh Bhupathi, said.“Rafa has been hurt since Wimbledon, he has not played any tennis. So obviously there was a risk there, in the format we have neither party wanted to take a chance.”
Federer will join Pete Sampras in the New Delhi leg of the tournament, which takes place between Dec. 6-8.