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SBD Global/May 12, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Manila Steps In For Bangkok As International Premier Tennis League Host

The first leg of the inaugural Int'l Premier Tennis League "has been shifted from Bangkok to Manila because of the political unrest in Thailand," according to REUTERS. League founder Mahesh Bhupathi said, “We had to divert from the original franchise owner in Bangkok as the political unrest forced us to look for an alternative city to ensure the safety of all stakeholders." Singapore, Dubai and Mumbai "are home to the other three franchises of the competition styled on cricket’s Indian Premier League" (REUTERS, 5/10). The PTI reported the Manila team, represented by Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Carlos Moya, Kirsten Flipkens, Daniel Nestor, and Treat Huey, will face off against the Singapore "Lions," the Indian "Aces" and the UAE "Falcons." The best players in the world "have committed to play in the league" (PTI, 5/10). In Singapore, Lin Xinyi wrote just weeks after casting doubt over participation in the IPTL, Andre Agassi said he would "absolutely" be in Singapore for the inaugural event. Agassi "was drafted into the Singapore team." At the time, the Singapore leg was scheduled for Nov. 28-30, "to kick-start the off-season league with subsequent legs in Dubai, Bangkok and Mumbai." With the opening leg now slated to take place in Bangkok on Nov. 28-30, Singapore will host the second leg from Dec. 2-4 and Agassi "is committed to making a trip to the Republic" (STRAITS TIMES, 5/10).
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