Tennis, a sport which is not followed as football or cricket in India, but still finds its way to entertain the Tennis fans all over the world. Here it is, IPTL (International Premier Tennis League) which started Friday. Very few people know how the tournament is going to take place. So let us talk much more about the format, teams, venues, players etc.
There are 4 teams which are a part of the first year of the tournament. They are Manila Mavericks, Singapore Slammers, UAE Royals and fianlly Micromax Indian Aces.
1. Manila Mavericks:
This team is loaded with stars. Starting from the Olympic Gold Winner Andy Murray to the Best Women’s Tennis player, Maria Sharapova, this team is the favourite to win the tournament. Players – Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kirsten Flipkins, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya, Maria Sharapova, Treat Huey.
2. Singapore Slammers:
After looking at this team, every tennis player would say they would love to be a part of it. From Serena Williams to the retired and living legend Andre Agassi, this team is not going down without a fight. They also have the X-factor of Nick Krygios who beat Rafael Nadal this year in the Wimbledon earlier. Players- Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewiit, Nick Krygios, Daniela Hantuchova, Bruno Soares, Patrick Rafter.
3. UAE Royals:
This team has got the World No.1 Novak Djokovic who won 4 titles this year and will look to add one more. Players- Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Malek Jaziri, Nenad Zimonjic, Goran Ivanisevic, Kristina Miadenovic, Marlin Cilic.
4. Micromax Indian Aces:
What else does a team asks for when they already got two greats of the game, Roger Federrer and Pete Sampras. In the womens department, services of Ana Ivanovic can be trusted to do the job in the singles league while Sania Mirza can handle the doubles. Players- Roger Federrer, Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, Fabrice Santoro.
This is where the fun begins. It is more or less the same as International Tennis standards but some rules have been added and might put pressure on the players.
Each match consists of:
1. 5 sets.
2. First to 6 games in a set, gets the set with a 5 minute shoot out at 5-all.
3. Each game won adds one point to team total.
All the different formats, that are Men’s singles, Women’s singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Men’s Legends Singles will be of 5 sets.
The order of play is to be decided by the home team and the lineup is to be given to the umpire 45 minutes before the match.
Winner of the match:
The team which wins maximum points after 5 sets wins the match and gets 4 points for his team. If the game toal is tied after 5 sets, then Super Shoot out will determine the winner.
For the losing team,
Get 2 points for the team if won more than 20 games. 1 point if won more than 10 games and 0 if less than 10 games.
A coin toss will decide who will serve in the first set of the match. In the shoot out and super shoot out, again a coin toss will decide the server.
Shoot out and Super Shoot out:
Heard this before? No.
Well this is what it is:
Shoot out is after a games are tied at 5-all in a set. There is no limit on the points that go in a shoot out. The maximum points scored in 4 minutes decides the winner of the game and the set. If they are even tied in a shoot out after the time limit, then there is one point to play and the winner of that point takes the set. It is similar to the traditional tie breaker which is played at 6-all. The 7 setter is gone now.
The super shoot out is when the games of both teams are tallied after 5 sets. The limit for super shoot out is 7 minutes, and rest is all the same as the shoot out.
Final Set importance:
Now here is another twist. The final set is played till the leading team in overall games scores to win the final set. If the trailing team wins the 5th set, then the match continues will the trailing team has enough points to equal the leading team and force for a super shoot out or the leading team wins one more game to win the match. It is confusing but once one starts watching, it will be easy.
Now, there are additions to the International Level Tennis, let us take a look as that.
1. Shot Clock:
This is going to add pressure. It will be set, stopped and reset by the chair umpire.
- 20 seconds Shot Clock between points
- 20 seconds Shot Clock between points during Shoot-out and Super Shoot-out
- 45 seconds Shot Clock during change overs
- 60 seconds Shot Clock for Coaches Time-outs
- 3 minutes Shot Clock after the end of each set
- Any time violation will result in a point loss by the violating team
2. Venue Entertainment:
DJ Irie and Freelusions will entertain the spectators at the stadium.
Each team coach can call a time out at any time, once in one set and can last for only 60 seconds
4. Power Point:
I personally love this new add on, the power point. the receiving player can call the next point as power point means that the winner of that point will score 2 points instead of 1. Similar to powerplays?
The tournament will be played in 4 countries, 3 days in Phillipines, then we go to Singapore, then India and finally in Dubai for the all important final.
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