IPTL: Djokovic out, Murray-Wawrinka in

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Djokovic represented the UAE Royals last year.

An exhausted Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the second season of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and has been replaced by Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka in the Singapore Slammers roster.

The world No1, who represented the UAE Royals in the inaugural season of the IPTL in 2014, was scheduled to headline the Singapore squad this month but Djokovic has opted to withdraw from the event to give his body some much-needed recovery time.

The Serb played 89 official matches in 2015, winning 82 of them, and has captured 11 titles in 11 months of what was undoubtedly his best season to date.

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“I had a great experience in the inaugural edition of the IPTL and was eagerly looking forward to playing in the second season, especially in front of the home crowd in Singapore,” Djokovic said.

“It’s been a long year for me and my body needs some extra time to recover. I wish the team the very best and will join them next year.”

Djokovic is also an absentee from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship (December 31 to January 2) for the first time in five editions.

Murray, initially missing from the IPTL roster, will be making his second appearance in the multi-nation tennis league having played for Manila in 2014, while Wawrinka is set to make his debut.

The highly-anticipated showdown between UAE Royals’ Roger Federer and Djokovic in Dubai will now see the Swiss legend take on Murray instead at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium from December 14-16.

Wawrinka and Murray join Belinda Bencic, Carlos Moya, Marcelo Melo, Karolina Pliskova, Dustin Brown and Nick Kyrgios in the Slammers squad.

Kyrgios infamously insulted Wawrinka’s girlfriend with a vulgar slur during a match between the Swiss French Open champion and the young Aussie in Montreal last August.

The IPTL kicked off on Wednesday with the opening leg in Kobe, Japan. The UAE Royals beat Singapore Slammers 26-20 thanks to wins from Ana Ivanovic, Goran Ivanisevic and the doubles pairing of Tomas Berdych and Daniel Nestor.

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