No Manila leg for IPTL 2016 season
MANILA, Philippines - The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) will not be visiting the Philippines this season, according to a schedule announced on Thursday, November 24. The Philippines had been represented by the Philippine Mavericks (originally named the Manila Mavericks) in the faster-paced tennis tournament since the inaugural season in 2014, with Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Treat Huey and Milos Raonic among those who have represented the home team in matches played at Mall of Asia Arena.
This year’s tournament will only feature 3 host cities instead of the usual 5 as Dubai is also off the itinerary, though the UAE Royals will still field a team alongside hosts Japan Warriors, Singapore Slammers and Indian Aces.
No reason for the omission of the Philippines was given in a press release on the IPTL website, though IPTL founder/promoter Mahesh Bhupathi spoke of having to “make some difficult choices” ahead of the third season.
An email to the IPTL seeking further insight was not immediately answered.
The tournament opens December 2 through 4 in Tokyo, followed by a leg in Singapore from December 6 through 8 before wrapping up in Hyderabad, India from December 9 through 11. A total of 17 matches will be played, according to the release, with all 4 teams playing 8 matches in a “customized round robin format.”
In addition to the number of host cities being reduced, few of the big stars who had participated will be joining in. Despite featuring Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in previous years, only Kei Nishikori (5) and Tomas Berdych (10) are represented among the men’s top 10 players. Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Martina Hingis highlight the women’s stars who are slated to play.
2016 IPTL team rosters
Japan Warriors: Kei Nishikori, Fernando Verdasco, Kurumi Nara, Jelena Jankovic, Fernando Gonzalez, Marat Safin and Jean-Julien Rojer.
UAE Royals: Tomas Berdych, Pablo Cuevas, Ana Ivanovic, Martina Hingis, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Johansson and Daniel Nestor.
OUE Singapore Slammers: Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, Marcos Baghdatis, Kiki Bertens, Carlos Moya, Rainer Schuettler and Marcelo Melo.
Indian Aces: Feliciano Lopez, Ivan Dodig, Eugenie Bouchard, Thomas Enqvist, Mark Philippoussis, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. – Rappler.com