MANILA, Philippines – World No.1 Serena Williams and former men’s top player Rafael Nadal head the tennis superstars strutting their wares before local fans when the second season of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) swings by Manila for its second leg in December.
Williams, who saw action for the Singapore Slammers in last year’s inaugurals, will be back in Manila, this time, as the leader of the Philippine Mavericks.The home team will also welcome rising star Milos Raonic, who replaced Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the roster after the latter opted to withdraw this season for personal reasons.
Williams, a 21-time major champion, is currently competing in the US Open and she is the odds-on favorite to win and become the first player to capture all four major titles Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open in one calendar year since Steffi Graf in 1998.
Nadal is making his IPTL debut this year and will be playing in Manila for the first time. The Spanish tennis star, who has won 14 Grand Slam titles, will be spearheading the defending champion Indian Aces.
“The players loved their time in Manila last year because the fans were amazing. This year with Nadal coming, the event will be bigger. The Mavericks have a very strong team on paper and are co-favorites with the UAE Royals to win the title in my opinion,” said IPTL managing director Mahesh Bhupati.
The IPTL will have a total of five legs in its second season starting in Japan then followed by Philippines, India, Dubai in United Arab of Emirates and Singapore.
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The fast-paced team tournament will have its second leg in Manila Dec. 6-8 with Williams scheduled to see action in all three days while Nadal is committed to play on the second and third day.
The state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena will once again host the games with the Singapore Slammers taking on newcomer Japan Warriors in the opening match on Dec. 6.g
The Mavericks will make their home debut against the UAE Royals in the main match.
The second day will have the Aces-Royals match in the curtain-raiser before the Mavericks-Warriors duel later in the night.
In the final day, the Mavericks will face off with the defending champion Aces right after the Slammers-Royals match.
Tickets to the IPTL Manila leg are now available at all SM Tickets outlets. Early bird promo is up to 15 percent off until Sept. 30. The three-day passes early bird rates are at P49,000 for VIP seats P40,000 for patron, P23,000 for lower box, P11,600 for upper box and P2,700 for general admission.