The third leg and finals of the Mahesh Bhupathi-promoted International Premier Tennis League 2016 will be held here next month with the IPTL India franchise Indian Aces shifting base from New Delhi to Hyderabad.
Bhupathi said some of the best tennis players in the world would be coming to Hyderabad for the event.
“Personally, I am very excited to come here. Obviously, an event of this magnitude, we have team (Indian Aces) owners they were looking at various options across the country after they decided, we want to move from Delhi. They explored Kolkata, they explored Mumbai, they explored Ahmedabad and they even explored Bangalore,” Bhupathi told reporters here today.
“But, it was a very recent decision. I was fortunate enough to come and meet the minister (Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao). In 48 hours, we got all the support we needed and, with infrastructure as well, to be able to host (the event) here,” he added.
Bhupathi said all four IPTL teams would be playing at the Gachibowli stadium on December 9 and 10, followed by the IPTL finals on December 11.
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The first two legs will be in Tokyo and Singapore before culminating in Hyderabad.
The matches would be played in the indoor stadium and the format of the event would be the same (round robin) as last year with the teams playing each other.
“Like in last year, we have the final in Singapore, this year the final is in Hyderabad,” he said.
Rama Rao, who is the president of Telangana State Tennis Association, said he had invited Bhupathi to conduct the event in Hyderabad when he met him.
Bhupathi consulted the team owners and took the decision to conduct the event in Hyderabad, Rama Rao said, adding that the Telangana government would support it fully.
“We are excited to be moving home base from Delhi to Hyderabad to connect with a new demography of the Indian tennis enthusiast. After two satisfying years in Delhi, the opportunity to call another city ‘home of the Indian Aces’ is both exhilarating and exciting. We look forward to having the city come out in large numbers to support our very own Indian Ace, home-girl Sania Mirza amongst a spectacular line-up of international tennis stars,” a release issued by the organizers quoted Siddhesh Sharma, Co-Owner of the IPTL India franchise, the Indian Aces, as saying.
The third season of the IPTL will commence in Tokyo (December 2-4). It will then move to Singapore (December 6-8) and Hyderabad (December 9-11). The season will witness a total of 17 matches, with each of the four teams playing eight matches in a customised round robin format, the release said.
Following is the team composition for the third season of the IPTL, according to the release.
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, Thomas Johansson and Danier Nestor
OUE Singapore Slammers: Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, Marcos Baghdatis, Kiki Bertens, Carloys Moya and Marcelo Melo.
Indian Aces: Feliciano Lopez, Iva Dodig, Eugenie Bouchard, Thomas Enqvist, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.