Tennis greats to visit PH as Manila hosts first leg of IPTL

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MANILA -- Because of the ongoing political unrest in Thailand, the first leg of the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) which features the top current and former tennis players in the world will be played here instead of Bangkok.

 

According to reports, the crisis in Thailand, which has been going on for months and had propelled anti-government protests, “prompted the IPTL organizers to shift the Nov 28-30 event to the Philippines.”

“We had to divert from the original franchise owner in Bangkok as the political unrest forced us to look for an alternative city to ensure the safety of all stakeholders,” ITPL founder Mahesh Bhupathi said in a statement.

“Bringing world class tennis to new audiences has always been one of the objectives of the IPTL and we are happy to announce Manila as the first host city of our tour across Asia,” said Bhupathi.

The competition will also be held in Singapore (Dec 2-4), Mumbai (Dec 7-9) and Dubai (Dec 11-14).

Choosing Manila as the replacement host also wasn’t a hard decision as it turned out.

“Manila quickly emerged as the perfect location to stage the event for the coming years as we have world class indoor venues available which can hold more than 20,000 spectators each and secondly, the city that has not seen professional tennis for the past 20 years,” Bhupathi said.

And what a way for the country, known for its passion for basketball, to experience top notch tennis action with world No.1 Rafael Nadal, No.2 Novak Djokovic and former Grand Slam winners Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras seeing action.

A draft was held last March with Great Britain’s Andy Murray, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka picked by Bangkok, will now be playing for Team Manila.

Team Dubai will be bannered by the Serbian sensation Djokovic, Mumbai will bank on Nadal while Singapore has women’s world No.1 Serena Williams in tow.

 

The teams will participate in five sets consisting of one frame each for men’s and women’s singles, men’s and mixed doubles and men’s legends singles. Inquirer.net