Nadal to play in IPTL's return to Manila on December

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 28, 2015 06:55 PM
Nadal to play in IPTL's return to Manila on December
Clementine Apacible, project lead for the Manila leg of the 2015 IPTL, and Philippine Davis Cup head coach Roland Kraut.

This year’s edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) promises to be even bigger and better than the previous one.

“We have more teams, more players. Rafael Nadal is coming to play,” said Clementine Apacible, project lead for the Manila leg of the 2015 IPTL.

The event that drew a huge turnout last year will be back at the Mall of Asia Arena on Dec. 6 to 8, and this early, excitement is in the air.

“It’s the All-Stars of tennis. It will be three days of sports and entertainment,” said Apacible during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

Serena Williams, eyeing the Grand Slam this year, will lead the Philippine Mavericks against the Japan Warriors, UAE Royals, Indian Aces and Singapore Slammers.

Japan, the newest member, will host the first leg followed by stops in Manila, New Delhi, Dubai and Singapore. The winning team gets $1 million.

“That’s one million dollars plus the trophy and the bragging rights. But it’s really about the camaraderie among the teams,” said Apacible.

There’s an early bird promo on the three-day passes that are transferable – VIP P49,000, patron P40,000, lower box P23,000, upper box P11,600 and general admission P2,700.

Also gracing the forum are Roland Kraut, head coach of the Philippine Davis Cup team, and Stephanie Henares of the SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

Nadal will lead the Micromax Indian Aces, playing alongside Gael Monfils, Agnieszka Radwanska, Fabrice Santoro, Ivan Dodig, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.

Maria Sharapova, who played for the Mavericks last year, is now with the Japan Warriors, who also boast the presence of Daniela Hantuchova and Marat Safin.

The UAE Royals will have Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic and Goran Ivanisevic in its core while the Singapore Slammers will be bannered by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Belinda Bencic and Carlos Moya.

Joining Williams in the Mavericks lineup are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Treat Huey, Mark Philippoussis, Richard Gasquet, Jarmila Gajdosova, Borna Coric and Sabine Lisicki.

“It’s a treat and let’s drum it up,” said Kraut, adding that last year’s IPTL created a big impact on the Filipino tennis aficionado, especially the young ones.

“There was a great impact on the kids because aside from the actual competition there were side-events like tennis clinics attended by the tennis superstars,” he added.

“It had a very valuable effect on our young players,” said Kraut.

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