After a blockbuster second season last year which included just about all the biggest names in tennis, the third season of the International Premier Tennis League includes only two major names, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
And the league shrinks from five teams to four as the Philippeans team in Manila is no longer part of the series. The league will also play in just three cities, down from five last year.
“This season required us to make some difficult choices and we have worked hard to bring Season 2016 to life across three host cities,” said founder and former pro Mahesh Bhupathi. “The first two legs will be in Tokyo and Singapore before we culminate in Hyderabad. We are deeply grateful to our sponsors, partners, broadcasters and, in particular, the participating players for their deep belief in the potential the IPTL holds to deliver exceptional value to all stakeholders.
“This has significantly strengthened the IPTL proposition as well as our resolve to continue to grow this property for the benefit of this sport that I Iove.”
Serena, who hasn’t played since losing to Karolina Pliskova at the US Open, will play for the Singapore Slammers. Federer, who hasn’t played since Wimbledon, returns to exo tennis for the Indian Aces, and will play in Hyderabad in December 9-11.
Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, Ana Ivanovic, Nick Kyrgios and Eugenie Bouchard are also part of the series.
Dec 2-4: Saitama, Japan
Dec 6-8: Singapore
Dec 9-11: Hyderabad, India
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: Roger Federer, Feliciano Lopez, Ivan Dodig, Eugenie Bouchard, Thomas Enqvist, Mark Philippoussis , Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna
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