World no.1 Novak Djokovic made his debut with UAE Royals in a four-team International Premier Tennis League (November 28-December 13).
Nole got a fantastic reception upon his introduction at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Arena on Sunday. He took to the court in doubles with Nenad Zimonjic against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Daniel Nestor. They lost it 5-6 after a 5 minute shoot-out which decided the winner.
The International Premier Tennis League brings together current champions, tennis legends and upcoming talents in a format that’s never been seen before.
Over 80 players participated in the draft held on March 2 in Dubai. A total of 29 players were added to the 4 franchise teams – the Philippines, Singapore, India and the UAE.
Novak is in Dubai team (UAE Royals) with Caroline Wozniacki, Malek Jaziri, Nenad Zimonjic, Goran Ivanisevic, Kristina Mladenovic and Marin Cilic.
Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya, Maria Sharapova, Kirsten Flipkens and Treat Huey are in the Manila (Philippines) squad.
Serena Williams joined the Singapore side, with Andre Agassi, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, Daniela Hantuchova, Nick Kyrgios, Bruno Soares and Patrick Rafter in the team.
Roger Federer and Pete Sampras are in the Delhi (India) squad with Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro.
The teams will play 24 matches in total, in a round robin format to determine the inaugural IPTL Champion. Each match comprises five sets in a different format – men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and men’s legends.
Djokovic will face Roger Federer on Monday, December 8, about 22.00 local time (17.30 CET). The competition then moves to its final destination Dubai (Dec 11-13).
Photo: Getty Images / IPTL