Mumbai confirmed as franchise city of ITPL

Mumbai, Jan 21 (IANS): Mumbai has been confirmed as one of the five franchises for the forthcoming International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) that will be played in November.

Besides Mumbai, the other four franchise cities are Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and one in the Middle East.

The ITPL, which is being promoted by Mahesh Bhupathi, will have some of the best male and female professional tennis players playing alongside the legends of the game.

"We are happy to announce today, the ownership of teams and therefore competition in Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and one more city to be announced in the Middle East. We have been working relentlessly to formulate and deliver a concept that not only meets global expectations of excellence, but also provides quality tennis coupled with entertainment for fans. With this, we confirmed team owners in five of Asia's biggest markets," Bhupathi, co-founder of ITPL, said in a statement Tuesday.

The ITPL players' draft will take place March 2 in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Boris Becker, co-founder of the IPTL, said tennis needs ITPL.

"This is something that tennis needs. Back in my time we would have loved to have a series of tournaments in Asia, where the demand for world class tennis as an entertainment concept merges with the needs and wishes of millions of fans," said the German legend.

The ITPL was launched amid huge fanfare in May and the announcement of the five franchise cities is the next big step for the league.

Tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt, who may feature in the tournament, said he was excited about the new league.

"I have heard of the many ideas being added to the League and I am excited to have confirmed my participation. I wait to see whose team I am on, I do not have any preferences as I know there are a lot of fans waiting to see World class tennis in all cities," said Hewitt.



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