In a world with players who feel they need to be paid more for the exhausting schedule they’re involved in, a project like the International Premier Tennis League was bound to pop up sooner or later, and Rafael Nadal will be the premier name of this new competition, which will probably involve Andy Murray on the men’s side, while Victoria Azarenka is also going to be part of it.
Similar to the very successful Indian Premier League of cricket, the new IPTL (our acronym, maybe it’ll be something different later on) will be something of a elite tennis competition that will run from November 28 to December 20, pretty much the time Tennis players use to get their rest between seasons. It will be held in five cities: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
What’s the format? A league, with teams and a roster filled with Tennis players, picked through an auction which will be held on Sunday at the Oberoi hotel in Dubai. Many top players are skeptical about the whole endeavor, but according to a source who spoke with the Telegraph, nobody wants to miss out on a possible money spinner, so a lot of them are putting their names down for Friday’s reveal. When the money starts being paid into their accounts, that’s when they will start believing that this concept is for real.
Nadal is reportedly promised $1 million a night for his contribution as one of the “marquee” players in the project developed by Mahesh Bhupathi, the Indian doubles player who seems to be busier with developing business rather than focusing on tennis. Andy Murray is still in negotiations with Bhupathi who briefly had a role on Murray’s commercial team last year before he became too involved in this project and set off on his own path.
There are three WTA top 10 players involved, with Azarenka leading the way, with Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska rumored to be part of this as well. Roger Federer, according to sources, isn’t involved, but there might be some more big names that will pop up as the auction date draws nearer. With tennis players, especially Nadal, complaining about the schedules of the ATP and the Davis Cup, it’s surprising to see them trying to take on more matches and burden. However, money makes you forget certain principles and complaints you had in the past.