Dubai has been named as one of the four cities that will play host to the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and the team based here will be headlined by world No2 Novak Djokovic.
Four teams were drafted on Sunday at the Oberoi Hotel in the northern emirate with Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras picked for team Mumbai, Serena Williams landing in team Singapore and Andy Murray and Victoria Azarenka are set to play for team Bangkok.
Djokovic will be joined by former world No1 Caroline Wozniacki, ex-Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, Serbian No2 Janko Tipsarevic, doubles star Nenad Zimonjic, five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis and Arab No1 Malek Jaziri.
“We’ve got some unbelievably strong teams. I think out of the 27 players that got drafted we have about 21 Grand Slam champions. We have 14 present and past No1s. It’s a pretty blockbuster field,” IPTL Managing Director, Mahesh Bhupathi told Sport360°.
The team owners are yet to be revealed and venues have not been finalized yet.
The draft took place in the presence of undisclosed team owners, Bhupathi, IPTL CEO Morgan Menahem, IPTL COO Eric Gottschalk and former world No1 Carlos Moya, who will be the VP of Player Relations for the league.
A total sum of $23,975,000 was raised for the four teams on Monday.
Organisers are calling the IPTL “the answer to a growing demand for world class tennis in the Middle East and Asia” and it’s set to take place from November 27 to December 14, 2014.
FULL TEAM LINE-UPS
Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, Rohan Bopanna, Sania Mirza and Fabrice Santoro.
Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor and Kirsten Flipkens.
Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, Patrick Rafter, Daniela Hantuchova, Bruno Soares and Nick Kyrgios.
Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Goran Ivanisevic, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic, Martina Hingis and Malek Jaziri.
Singapore: November 28 – 30
Bangkok: December 2 – 4
Mumbai: December 7 – 9
Dubai: December 11 – 14