Federer, Nadal headline Delhi leg

Fiercest rivalry set to hit Indian shores as action begins today

Federer, Nadal headline Delhi leg

After thrilling the fans with the presence of world stars last year, the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) has returned with the promise of presenting the celebrated rivalry of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the second edition of its India leg, scheduled from December 10 to 12, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.

Nadal, who made his IPTL debut this year, was slated to play last year but had to withdraw owing to appendicitis. He was replaced by Swiss great Federer in the Indian Aces. Federer, who wowed the Indian audience in his maiden visit to the country last year, is part of UAE Royals in this edition. He, however, is yet to play a match this year.

Nadal’s association with India is not new. During his formative years, he had participated in the ATP Chennai Open and also inaugurated his foundation for underprivileged kids in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh in 2010. Naturally, Nadal was thrilled to be the part of Indian Aces.

“I’ve played in Chennai a few times, I enjoy a lot of fan support in India, so I’m really looking forward to playing there. This visit is also very special to me because a few of the children from my foundation will be coming to Delhi to visit the city, to see me play, so I am very happy about that but I’m also very sad to know about the situation in Chennai because of the rains and the floods,” Nadal, who has slumped to World number five, said.

“I heard some wonderful things about the IPTL from the players last year. It’s a great format, it’s superbly organised, all the players love it, and it’s great for the sport of tennis to be able to go to new markets.”

Apart from Nadal and Federer, the three-day leg would host a bevy of tennis stars ranging from Milos Raonic of Manila Mavericks, Agnieszka Radwanska of Aces, Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic of UAE Royals.

Doubles exponent Leander Paes, also making his IPTL debut with Japan Warriors, would head the Indian presence, which includes World number one woman doubles player Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. Both Sania and Bopanna are part of the defending champions Indian Aces, who lead the points tally after winning three out of four matches. They, however, faced their first defeat in this edition against Philippine Mavericks 24-25 in Manila on Tuesday with Raonic edging out Nadal in the decider.

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