Filipino tennis fans will get a chance to witness the inaugural season of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) which kicks off in Manila today, November 28, 2014. The tournament’s Philippine leg will bring together the world’s best tennis players such as Maria Shararpova and Andy Murray.
Here are 8 things you need to know about the star-studded tennis event (happening from November 28 to December 13, 2014), which will also have exhibitions in India, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Photo via Mall of Asia Arena Facebook page
IPTL starts in Manila today, after replacing Bangkok due to the political crisis in Thailand. The Mall of Asia Arena will be the home of the Manila Mavericks for the three-day tennis festival. Other venues will be at the Singapore Indoor Stadium (December 2-4), the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi (December 6-8), and the Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai (December 10-12). According to reports, IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi hopes to increase the destinations to eight Asian venues by 2020.
Photo credit: IPTL Twitter page
IPTL organizers shared the above match schedule for the first three days of the tournament in the Philippines. You can also check out the schedule of the full match in other countries here.
Photo via E-plus card website
Tickets in this much-awaited event went on sale last September 1, 2014. Fans may still avail the event passes at all SM Tickets outlet in SM Supermalls. Prices range from P2,900 to P58,000.
Photo via IPTL Facebook page
The Coca Cola International Premier Tennis League recently unveiled the trophy that will be presented to the winning team of this tennis competition.
According to reports and to Kapil Hetamsaria, Co-Founder & CEO, VELVETCASE.com, "The trophy has been crafted using diamonds, gold, silver, teak and gemstones to exquisite precision. We’re pleased with the outcome and take immense pride in being associated with the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League.”
The winning team will also receive a prize money of US$1 Million.
The IPTL came up with some interesting rules to speed up the game play. Each player has a 20-second shot clock between points and guarantees a quick play, and lose a point if the shot clock runs out. There’s no ad scoring and each deuce game is a sudden death.
Each player has one “power point” which indicates the next point is worth double.
Each Team Coach can call for a time-out at any time once during each set, which lasts for 60 seconds.
The four teams will host a three-day stint and will visit the three other venues. The players though may not compete in every game (i.e Murray and Sharapova will only play in Manila).
Each match consists of five (5) sets: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and men’s legends singles. The first to score six (6) games wins the set, but if the score reaches a 5-all, a special shootout will be played (and will last for four minutes). There will be no changeovers, and the player with the most accumulated points in 4 minutes wins the set.
Photos via Micromax Indian Aces, DBS Singapore Slammers & UAE Royals’ Twitter Page
The league has four teams. Each team represents four countries across Asia and features current ATP and WTA stars on its roster. Below is the list of headliners per team:
The DBS Singapore Slammers: Serena Williams, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Daniela Hantuchova, Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter, and Bruno Soares. They will be coached by Joshua Eagle.
The Micromax Indian Aces: headlined by Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, Pete Sampras, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, and player-coach Fabrice Santoro.
The UAE Royals: Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Marin Cilic, Malek Jaziri, Kristina Mladenovic (who replaced Eugenie Bouchard due to an injury), Goran Ivanisevic, and Nenad Zimonjic. John-Laffnie de Jager will serve as their coach.
Photo courtesy of Manila Mavericks Facebook page
The Manila Mavericks are led by World No. 6 and 2013 Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray, World No. 2 and 5-time Grand Slam Winner Maria Shararpova, Belgium’s 2013 Sportswoman of the year Kristen Flipkens, World. No. 12 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, 85 Men’s Doubles title holder Daniel Nestor, Tennis Legend Carlos Moya, and our very own Treat Huey.
For more information about the IPTL, please visit iptlworld.com and smtickets.com for ticket inquiries.