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Nadal, Sampras to play for Mumbai team of ITPL

MUMBAI: World No. 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal and India’s doubles stars Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are some of the star players to play for the Mumbai franchise of the International Tennis Premier League (ITPL), which will take place from 28 November to 14 December.

American great Pete Sampras, former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, and Fabrice Santoro are some of the other players to play for Mumbai, according to the players’ draft released by the organisers.

The ITPL has four teams including Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok. The 2014 season will feature 24 matches across the four host cities. The four teams will compete in a round-robin format in each of the four cities.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will spearhead the challenge of Dubai. Caroline Wozniacki, Goran Ivanisevic, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonic, Malek Jaziri and Martina Hingis will be his teammates.

Andy Murray, the reigning Wimbledon champion, has been taken by Bangkok, which also has Jo Wilfred Tsonga, Victoria Azarenka, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya and Kirsten Flipkens.

World No. 1 among women players, Serena Williams will lead Singapore. American superstar Andre Agassi, Tomas Berdych, former world No. 1 from Australia Lleyton Hewitt, Bruno Soares, Patrick Rafter, Daniela Hantuchova and Nick Krygios complete the Singapore team.

The owners have spent $24 million to get the players on their side. Each owner can have up to 10 players on their roster.

The matches will be played in one city for three days. In Singapore, the matches will be played from 28 to 30 November. It will then move to Bangkok (2, 3 and 4 December), Mumbai (7, 8 and 9 December) and Dubai (11, 12 and 13 December).