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Guide to the IPTL



“This is not a regular game of tennis,” says the minute-long promotional video of the sophomore season of the International Premiere Tennis League.

“This is the IPTL.”

The five-country team tennis tournament is back in town for its 3-day Manila stint at the Mall of Asia Arena from December 6 to 8. Like last year, the tournament will feature tennis superstars from both the past and the present.

The Philippines will be the second stop in the multi-country tour, and if you’re planning on catching the games either live or on TV, here’s the Tiebreaker Times guide to what you need to know.

Hint: You probably won’t need your tennis etiquette, but you could probably still come decked out in all-white ala Wimbledon.

The Format

The IPTL will see five teams – the Indian Aces, the Japan Warriors, the Philippine Mavericks, the Singapore Slammers, and the UAE Royals – compete against each other for the prize money of USD 1.5 million. Operating on a slightly different format to make the game of tennis more fast-paced and exciting, there will be 2 matches a day with each match following a single set of each category:

  • Men’s Singles;
  • Women’s Singles;
  • Men’s Doubles;
  • Mixed Doubles; and
  • Past Champions Singles.

The order of play will be finalized 45 minutes before the start of each match to add to the unpredictability of the event. In addition, the IPTL has also added time limits for each set, shot clocks, coaches timeouts, “happiness power points” which double the points being played, and shoot-outs in the event of a tie.

Despite the modified format, expect the match-ups to last around 3 hours each. Hopefully, that’ll be enough time to see your favorite stars play some world-class tennis.

The Teams

From the original four-team league, this edition of the IPTL has expanded to include the Japan Warriors.

World Number One Serena Williams is set to headline for the home team, the Philippine Mavericks, for all three days of the event, while the master of clay himself, Rafael Nadal, will feature for last year’s winning team, the Indian Aces, for two nights.

Other confirmed participants for IPTL Manila include tennis’ crop of current stars Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych, Agnieszka Radwanska, Gael Monfils, and Daniela Hantuchova, and the big names of the previous decades’ in legends Goran Ivanisevic, Carlos Moya, and Marat Safin, among others.

Full list of confirmed participants for IPTL Manila

December 6-8, 2015

Indian AcesJapan WarriorsPhilippine MavericksSingapore SlammersUAE Royals
Rafael NadalDaniela HantuchovaSerena WilliamsBelinda BencicAna Ivanovic
Gael MonfilsMarat SafinRichard GasquetCarlos MoyaTomas Berdych
Agnieszka RadwanskaKurumi NaraTreat HueyKarolina PliskovaGoran Ivanisevic
Sania MirzaPhilip KohlschreiberMilos RaonicDustin BrownKristina Mladenovic
Rohan BopannaLeander PaesEdouard Roger-VasselinMarcelo MeloDaniel Nestor
Fabrice SantoroMark Philippoussis
Ivan DodigJarmila Gajdosova
Ajla Tomljanovic

‘Breaking the code’ in good fun

Last year, the IPTL promised to ‘Break the Code’ of tennis in order to attract new audiences to the sport.
In Manila, this meant some world-class play without the game’s conventional etiquette. Audiences did not keep quiet at the serve, the fans cheered wildly instead of clapping to show support, and perhaps to illustrate the best part of the IPTL: the top men and women of the tennis world all played along.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Guide to the IPTL

Day 1 during the Mens Singles match-up between the Indian Aces vs. Singapore Slammers – At the third game, Monfils was penalized for a shot clock violation, and true to his showman reputation he pretended to be upset with the umpire only to make a face to the crowd later in the game.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Guide to the IPTL

Day 2 during the Mens Doubles match-up between the UAE Royals and Singapore Slammers – The UAE Royals clawed their way to 5-5 in the tiebreak only to be finished off by another Kyrgios ace at the end of the 5-minute running time. The young Aussie celebrated his doubles performance by emphatically falling to the ground at center court.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Guide to the IPTL

Day 3 during the Women’s Singles match-up between the Manila Mavericks and Singapore Slammers – The Serena serve dominated Kristen Flipkens to win a lop-sided set at 6-3.

According to the league organizers, “The idea of getting a blend of past legends, current champions and upcoming bright talent in a team-based competition is a never before seen concept in the sport of tennis.”

So whether your favorite tennis catchphrase is come on, allez, or vamos, this December, Manila will be the right place and the right time to witness all the great tennis and good fun of the IPTL.