Bhupathi announces late 2014 launch of IPL-style 'revolutionary' tennis tournament

Karachi, May 26 (ANI): Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi has lifted the lid on his plans for an International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), in the style of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is to be scheduled to stage its inaugural season at the end of 2014 in Paris.

Branded by world number one Novak Djokovic as potentially "revolutionary", Bhupathi's vision is for an elite competition that would feature the world's best players participating for six, as of yet unspecified, franchises dotted throughout Asia, The News reports.

According to the report, the IPTL's foundations bear a similar resemblance to that of its cricketing counterpart IPL, which has seen much success since its launch in 2008.

The 12-time Grand Slam doubles champion said that he is trying to bring the concept of entertainment in the ITPL, in the style of the IPL, adding that fans, sponsors and TV accepted the IPL because it was kind of a made-for-TV content.

According to Bhupathi, the fixtures would consist of five one-set matches lasting a duration of three hours in total, with teams comprised of between six and 10 players and total salaries for each franchise costing between four million dollars and 10 million dollars.

Bhupathi further said that along with the regular singles and doubles matches of both sexes, a legends singles-featuring the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Pat Rafter, would also be a part of each tie, adding that the plans had been well received by television networks.

An auction is scheduled just prior to the Australian Open next January in Melbourne where players, who will be divided into five price categories based on their ranking, popularity or potential, will go to the highest bidder.

The league then set to take place from late November through the first few weeks of December, the report added. (ANI)


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