Mumbai among first five teams in inaugural tennis league

International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) on Tuesday announced the names of their first five teams, including Mumbai, and scheduled the player draft on March 2 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“We are happy to announce today, the ownership of teams and therefore competition in Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and one more city to be announced in the Middle East,” said Mahesh Bhupathi, co-founder of the IPTL.

“We have been working relentlessly to formulate and deliver a concept that not only meets global expectations of excellence, but also provides quality tennis coupled with entertainment for fans. With this, we confirmed team owners in five of Asia’s biggest markets,” he added.

IPTL, which was launched in May last year, will consist of the best men and women professional tennis players.

Speaking about the initiative, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt said: “I have heard of the many ideas being added to the League and I am excited to have confirmed my participation. I wait to see whose team I am on, I do not have any preferences as I know there are a lot of fans waiting to see world class tennis in all cities.”

Boris Becker, co-founder of the IPTL, said: “This is something that tennis needs. Back in my time we would have loved to have a series of tournaments in Asia, where the demand for world class tennis as an entertainment concept merges with the needs and wishes of millions of fans.” International TV rights agency MP and Silva, who hold part of the television rights for 2014 FIFA World Cup, the English Premier League and Roland Garros amongst other globally prominent sporting events, have acquired the rights to the IPTL.

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