The second edition of Asia’s most loved tennis tournament, the International Premier Tennis League is almost here. The 2015 season kicks off in Japan, who will be making their debut this year and the last leg will be held in Singapore.
The organisers have added another team, the Japan Warriors to the pool and hence a few matches will now be held in Kobe.
Having one more team makes the competition more interesting and the new franchise has Indian tennis ace, Leander Paes playing for them. The legend had refused to be a part of the tournament last year, but the organizers managed to sign him for this edition. He has been in top form and should do well in the IPTL. Paes has won many Grand Slams with his mixed doubles’ partner, Martina Hingis and should lead the campaign for the Japan franchise.
The other top player who will be seen in action this season is Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard pulled out of last year’s tournament as he wanted to prepare for the 2015 Grand Slam season and recover from his injuries. That decision didn't help him as he did not win a single major this year.
Nadal has struggled to get back to form which has led to a fall in his rankings. He is known as the King of Clay but lost to World No.1, Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of this year’s French Open.
The season got even worse when he was defeated by the qualifier, Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon and then lost to Fabi Fognini in the third round at Flushing Meadows. The Spaniard has promised his fans to better his performance in the 2016 season and the IPTL should be like a warm up for him.
Last year, Nadal was to play for the Indian Aces but was eventually replaced by arch-rival, Roger Federer. The Swiss ace has changed his team and will now play for the UAE Royals. This is great as having both, Nadal and Federer in one team would give them a huge advantage over others.
In fact, there is a singles’ match between the old foes and it will be a part of the Indian leg in New Delhi between December 10th â??and 12th. In terms of other top seeds, Djokovic is a part of the Singapore Slammers franchise while Serena Williams will play for the Philippine Mavericks.
Having such big players take part makes the competition more fierce. While, on paper, the UAE Royals look like the heavyweights, all other teams have their stalwarts and have an equal chance of being the champions.Published 27 Nov 2015, 12:21 IST