Television

IPTL announces team coaches for inaugural edition

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MUMBAI:  One of the most exciting new developments in tennis tournament is the highly anticipated International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). The championship league, that is all set to launch in November 2014, has appointed veteran tennis coaches Joshua Eagle and John Laffnie De Jager as coaches of the Singapore ‘Slammers’ and the UAE ‘Royals’ respectively. The distinguished Fabrice Santoro and Manila native Treat Huey, who is currently ranked ATP Doubles World No. 40, will be the player-coaches for the Micromax Indian ‘Aces’ and Manila ‘Mavericks’.

The revolutionary new league promises an exciting format and exclusive innovations that will change the way in which the world enjoys this top sport. Some of these thrilling features include time outs, power points, shoot-outs, a running shot clock, and venues equipped with Hawk-Eye will keep all spectators in the stadium and viewers watching from home at the edge of their seats. There will also be live entertainment during all matches.

The traditional scoring format has been changed to single-set no-add scoring, which will speed up the games and enable the fans to experience up to 24 different players in one exhilarating evening.  While each match will consist of 5 sets comprising men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and former Champions singles, each game won will count as one point for the team points total. The team, that wins the most games overall across the five sets, wins the match. Coaches will play significant roles during each match, guiding players on team strategy, calling for time-outs to discuss strategy, fostering a team atmosphere and getting each player to play for the team in a sport considered highly individual. All four coaches will help their respective teams formulate a winning strategy.

France’s Fabrice Santoro is player and coach of the Micromax Indian ‘Aces’. He is a distinguished doubles player, holds several ATP records, and has made an unbeaten 70 appearances in singles competition at Grand Slam events. He is also the only male player to have appeared in Grand Slam singles competitions in four different decades. Fabrice’s charming demeanor and repertoire of trick shots make him a delight to watch.

Singapore ‘Slammers’ coach Joshua Eagle is a former professional male tennis player and current professional tennis coach from Australia. In January 2013, he was appointed as the Australian Davis Cup coach, having previously won Tennis Australia's elite coaching excellence award in 2012 for helping Australian Marinko Matosevic break into the top 50 from outside 200. Eagle is classified as a doubles specialist and has won five ATP doubles titles.

UAE Royals coach John-Laffnie de Jager is a South African former tour professional tennis player. A doubles specialist, de Jager reached the semi-finals for three different grand slam tournaments three times in three different years partnering three different fellow South African players. De Jager is the current non-playing captain of the South Africa Davis Cup team.

Like Santoro, Filipino-American tennis player Treat Huey is also player and coach. The Manila ‘Mavericks’ player specializes in doubles and has reached three finals on the ATP World Tour. Huey reached his career-high doubles ranking of World No. 21 in November 2013. The 28-year-old is the Philippines’ #1 and current ATP Doubles World No. 40. The player’s fans will get to see him live in action at a home event for the first time.

The new team tennis competition featuring the best current and former ATP and WTA players will be played across 4 selected cities in Asia (Manila, Singapore, Delhi and Dubai) from 28 November to 13 December 2014.

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