New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS)
The inaugural Champions Tennis League (CTL) from Nov 17-26 to be played across six cities in India won't have any clash of interests with the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), though, both will have franchises based out of New Delhi, former Indian tennis star and CTL promoter Vijay Amritraj said Friday.
"There is only one tennis league in India and that is CTL. IPTL is an Asia-based competition. Ours is an India centric endeavour. There is no clash with IPTL. It is raining sports leagues in the country with several sports having a league of its own.
"So we decided it was time to have a tennis league which will help in unearthing fresh talent. Sports in India is going through a transformation and is evolving rapidly. So both leagues can co-exist side-by-side," Amritraj said at a press conference here for the unveiling of the city-based team, named 'Delhi Dreams'.
The Delhi team comprises of former men's World No.1 Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, ex-women's top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic, South African Kevin Anderson and Indian Sana Singh.
The tournament will be played across six Indian cities of Chandigarh, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi.
Each franchise picked four players from an auctionless draft of 24 that had former women's No.1 Martina Hingis and former-No.8 Marcos Baghdatis as wildcard entrants.
The Mahesh Bhupathi-owned IPTL, starting Nov 28, will be held across four Asian cities -- Delhi, Manila, Dubai and Singapore.
The Indian franchise of the competition named Indian Aces, with the likes of World No.2 Roger Federer in their ranks, will be held Dec 6-8 here.
Amritraj said CTL will be played in a one-set format with nine point tie-breakers and believes that the short duration of matches will ensure its competitiveness.
"We expect each match to last around 30 minutes. The format of the tournament, with a short single set, will ensure that anything can happen in a match," he said.
CTL will have 13 matches played over the 10-day period, with the teams divided into two groups, each having three teams, where all teams play each other on a home-and-away basis.
Because of its format, in case of a a tie in standings, the team winning the most number of games from each group will advance to the final.
To accommodate all matches in the short span of time, two matches will be played in six days with the first game beginning at 5 p.m. followed by another at 8 p.m.
Amritraj also announced that the prices of the tickets have been pegged at Rs.600, 1000 and 2000 in all centres with Bangalore having an additional range of Rs.300 owing to its superior seating capacity in its venue.
IPTL tickets have been fixed at Rs.3,240, Rs.29,160 and Rs.49,680 and was made available for buying from Friday.
"The prices have been kept relatively low and fixed at a reasonable rate after arriving at a consensus with all ther franchises," the 60-year old said adding that former doubles specialist Mark Woodforde would be amongst a three-member expert commentary team for the tournament.