The two top competitors on the ATP World Tour, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, took part in a highly anticipated exhibition encounter in New Delhi in the final match in the India portion of the International Premier Tennis League.
The match was structured as just one set wedged in a five-set team match. It ended in a 6-6 stalemate under the format rules, which allowed Djokovic’s UAE Royals team to win 29-22 win over Federer’s Indian Aces. Prior to that, Federer played with France’s with Gael Monfils to defeat Serbians Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic in doubles action.
Following the win, Federer explained to the Indian media that he is unlikely to play any professional ATP World Tour tournaments in India, as it does not fit his schedule. However, he will continue to consider it for Exhibition events such as this one.
“Not next year, because I am starting in Brisbane again. Don’t forget I have four kids and we need to beat jetlag. Brisbane was really nice to me, really enjoy the tournament. “Being there is probably is more feasible for me. India is more feasible for me as an exhibition than as a tournament unfortunately. That is how it is,”
While he does not put much weight on exhibition events, Federer enjoyed his time playing in India and believes that format of tennis and friendlier atmosphere has a place in tennis.
“It is early days (for IPTL). It is not going to replace how we play the tour but definitely has a place in the sport. To have more interaction (with fans), more fun, you bend it (the rules), you customize it. Especially, I like the idea for this part of the world as they don’t get to see many tournaments,”