Television

Micromax crowned owners of IPTL India franchise, Indian Aces

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NEW DELHI:  Micromax has been named as the owner of the Indian franchise of the first Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL). Named ‘Indian Aces’, the team will be lead by legendary player Roger Federer. Around 80 broadcasters have been confirmed around the world for reportage of the league.

While a source informed indiantelevision.com that Star India was all set to cover the event in India, IPTL COO Eric M Gottschalk said that he had permission to name just one of the broadcasters which is the Abu Dhabi Sports Channel.

Marquee player Roger Federer, 14-time Grand Slam Champion Pete Sampras and teammates Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro will make up the formidable Indian squad which will commence in Delhi on 6 December and conclude on 8 December. 

World number two, Rafael Nadal who was representing the team, has been forced to withdraw from the League due to injury and the need for rehab time during the off season.

In a televised message, Swiss ace Roger Federer said, “Namaste India! I'm really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Micromax Indian Aces. My team tells me that there are a lot of tennis fans and my supporters in the region, so I hope you can come out and support me in December. See you there!"

Meanwhile IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi commented, “I take this opportunity to welcome Micromax to the IPTL family as owners of the India franchise. I believe the time for innovation in tennis has come. This December, New Delhi will witness tennis action like never before - one that will change the way people enjoy the sport.” 

“As a tennis fan, I am excited to see Roger and Pete play for the same team, it’s unprecedented! I think Indian sports fans are in for a real treat,” Mahesh added.

Talking about the association Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma said, “I would like to congratulate Mahesh on this great initiative, and we are very excited to own the India franchise in IPTL. We are delighted to have the best names from the world of tennis with Roger Federer spearheading the challenge of Indian Aces. This partnership is part of our vision to bring India to the forefront of world class sporting events. Our long term intent is to bring a transformation for sports in India by developing world-class sports infrastructure in the country to encourage more youth to take up professional sport.”

Later speaking on the sidelines to indiantelevision.com, he said that Micromax would go the full 360 degrees in promoting the event, adding that with the likes of Federer and Bhupathi there was little need for any build-up.

Asked about the budget, he said that would not be a problem and Micromax will go to any level for successfully managing the team and its marketing.

“The IPTL is a challenging initiative taken by Bhupathi in bringing the highest level of tennis to Asia in a competitive format and it was a privilege to partner with the organizers and team owners to make this event a great success for sports fans in India,” said  Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) president Anil Khanna.

In his message, Nadal said, “I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be part of the first edition of the IPTL. I was looking forward to representing Indian Aces and playing in front of fans in New Delhi in the exciting new League. I wish the team the very best and hope to be back next year.”

Bhupathi said the venue had been chosen over Mumbai because it was two and half times more than the size of the tennis court available in Mumbai.

The IPTL matches will feature live entertainment, a running shot clock and many more features to ’Break the Code’ of the traditional etiquette of tennis to attract a new audience to the sport across the world.

The League will feature four teams in the inaugural season before adding additional franchises to the calendar with the Indian “Aces” competing against the UAE “Royals”, Manila “Mavericks” and Singapore “Slammers” for a total prize money of USD 1 million.

 The IPTL format has been designed in a manner that will be very attractive to broadcasters and fans. The traditional scoring format has been changed to single-set no-add scoring which will speed up the games and allow the fans to up to 24 different players in one evening while the broadcasters for the first time, will be able to schedule predictable start and finish times of each match. Each match will consist of five sets played by different players (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and former Champions singles) and each game won counts as one point for the team points total - the team that wins the most games overall across the five sets wins the match.

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