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Indian tennis players unhappy over Federer, Serena's IPTL pull out

Kolkata, Dec 7 (IANS) National tennis champion V.M. Ranjeet and 2014 Chennai Open wild card entrant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan on Wednesday lamented the absence of superstars Roger Federer and Serena Williams from the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) due to demonetisation.

"It's obviously a loss for tennis fans and players to not get the opportunity to watch Federer or Serena play in front of their eyes," Ranjeet said on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tournament starting here on Thursday.

Eight players including Vishnu Vardhan, top seed Sriram Balaji, Kaza Sharma, Dalbinder Singh and Sanam Sharma will be part of the three-day meet.

"It's obviously a bigger miss for the fans more than the players. We have seen these stars like Roger and Rafa (Nadal) play here last time. But just to have dinner with say Roger Federer is an experience of a lifetime for any of us," Jeevan said.

Federer and Serena were supposed to come for the second edition of the franchise tournament organised by veteran doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi.

But due to high-value currency notes ban in the country, the Swiss and the American hotshots decided to give the meet a skip citing financial concerns on Tuesday.

Federer's former coach Tony Roche is scheduled to attend the event.

"He is coming tonight. The idea is to get these players to interact with someone of the ilk of Tony," former Davis Cupper Jaidip Mukherjea, whose academy here is hosting the event, said.

--IANS

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