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SBD Global/February 26, 2014/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Rafael Nadal is "understood to be the highest-profile player committed" to the Int'l Premier Tennis League, according to Simon Briggs of the London TELEGRAPH. The new competition, developed along the lines of the successful Indian Premier League of cricket, "will launch this coming weekend with an auction in Dubai." Nadal is believed to be earning $1M a night for his contribution as one of the "marquee" players in a scheme developed by Indian doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi, "who is branching out into the world of business." The competition will be staged between Nov. 28 and Dec. 20 in five cities -- Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong -- and each team "will bid for its players on Sunday at the Oberoi hotel in Dubai." There are at least three players of the women's top 10 "who are also understood to have committed to the project," led by the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Polish No. 1 Agnieszka Radwanska "are believed to have put their names down," but Roger Federer "is not thought to be involved." Andy Murray "is still in discussions with Bhupathi" (TELEGRAPH, 2/25). In London, Simon Briggs wrote "If all goes to plan, five teams will send their minions to the Oberoi Hotel armed with minimum budgets of $4 million (£2.4 million) each." The teams will sign up men, women and former champions, "but who will commit, and where is the money coming from? At the moment the IPTL’s creator, Mahesh Bhupathi, feels like one of those movie characters who has 48 hours to save the planet. He might pull it off, but if he succeeds, it will be by the skin of his teeth (TELEGRAPH, 2/25).