Newly crowned Wimbledon champion and current world number one, Novak Djokovic, will be leading the Singapore Slammers in the second season of the 2015 Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) held from 2 to 20 December 2015.
The ground breaking, team-based, multi-nation tennis league has expanded to five teams for its second edition with the Japan Warriors joining last season’s champions, the Indian Aces, alongside the UAE Royals, the Philippine Mavericks and the Singapore Slammers, in a five city swing starting on 2nd December in Japan and ending at Singapore’s Indoor Stadium for the grand finale on December 18 to
20. The latest highlight of the IPTL will see the top two teams in the league play off to determine the champion for Season Two on Dec 20th in Singapore.
Djokovic’s teammates in the new-look Singapore Slammers franchise will feature former world number one Carlos Moya of Spain, Swiss teen sensation Belinda Bencic, current world number 12 Karolína Plíšková from the Czech Republic, Brazilian doubles specialist Marcelo Melo and rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios, who is the sole survivor of last year’s line-up.
Top players from both the ATP and WTA tours had confirmed their participation for IPTL 2015 which takes place in 5 countries – Japan, Philippines, India, UAE and Singapore, including the only Asian to play in a Grand Slam final Kei Nishikori (Japan Warriors) along with Rafael Nadal (Indian Aces), Roger Federer (UAE Royals) and Serena Williams (Philippine Mavericks).
Mahesh Bhupathi, IPTL’s founder and Managing Director said: “Our inaugural season saw past, present and future champions playing in front of packed audiences across Asia. Players and fans enjoyed our ‘new code’ of tennis. We are pleased to return to Singapore for the second year running and tennis fans can look forward to another exciting event.”
(L-R) Thomas McMahon (CEO of UD Group), Prateek Gupta (Chairman of UD Group), Mahesh Bhupathi, Managing Director IPTL, and Nicholas Lim, President STA. Photo: IPTL
The IPTL, reaching TV audiences in over 125 countries, was established with the aim to ‘break the code’ of the traditional tennis format, with single-set, no-add scoring to speed up the games. This enables fans to experience up to 24 different players competing in one evening in various match constellations consisting of singles, doubles, mixed-doubles and legends sets. Other unique facets will again feature prominently in this year’s edition, including Happiness PowerPoints, shoot-outs, a running shot clock and exciting in-game live music and entertainment.
“World-class tennis events such as the IPTL are important for the development of tennis in Singapore,” said Nicholas Lim, President of Singapore Tennis Association. “The many champions on the IPTL are a source of inspiration to our young talents and the innovative format will attract more new fans and players to the game of tennis. The Singapore leg of IPTL 2015 will also provide a fitting finale to a great year for local sports.”
(L-R) Thomas McMahon (CEO of UD Group), Prateek Gupta (Chairman of UD Group), Mahesh Bhupathi, Managing Director IPTL, and Nicholas Lim, President STA during the press conference. Photo: IPTL
As part of the upcoming SG50 Jubilee Celebrations, there will be a $50 discount off all tickets from the on-sale date of 24 July to the end of August.
In a recorded message to tennis fans in Singapore, world number one Djokovic said: “I have such a great team. And we are going to rock the stage!”
Prateek Gupta, Chairman of UD Group and franchise owner of the Singapore Slammers is looking forward to this unique event: “Djokovic is one of the greatest players in the game and to have him represent Singapore is a rare honour. We hope all of Singapore will get behind him and the rest of the Slammers when they play on home soil come December. It’s time to ‘play differently’ and embrace a fresh and exciting tennis concept.”