SERENA Williams is set to play for the Manila Mavericks in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) following a player draft recently held for this year’s competition.
Williams will be joined by hometown netter Treat Huey, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mark Philippoussis, Richard Gasquet, Jarmila Gajdosova, Borna Coric, and Sabine Lisicki for the Mavericks as the five-team league returns for another edition bringing in some of the best tennis players in the world.
That includes the world No. 1 netter Williams, who saw action in front of an animated Manila crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in the first edition of the IPTL last year when she suited up for the Singapore Slammers.
Maria Sharapova, who played for the Manila Mavericks last year, is again lined up for the IPTL along with world No. 1 men’s netter Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and rising star Kei Nishikori although it is not yet clear whether the top players will play for their respective teams in Manila.
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Sharapova will suit up this time for the new team Japan Warriors with Kei Nishikori, Kurumi Nara, Daniela Hantuchova, Vasek Pospisil, Leander Paes, Lucas Pouille, and Marat Safin.
Djokovic was drafted by the Singapore Slammers together with Nick Kyrgios, Marcelo Melo, Belinda Bencic, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Karolina Pliskova, and Carlos Moya.
Federer will play once again for the UAE Royals along with Ana Ivanovic, Goran ivanisevic, Marin Cilic, Daniel Nestor, Kristina Mladenovic, and Tomas Berdych.
Nadal is part of the Micromax Indian Aces with Gael Monfils, Agnieszka Radwanska, Fabrice Santoro, Ivan Dodig, Sania Mirza, and Rohan Bopanna.
The IPTL offers a unique format where teams play one set of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, legends singles. The team with the most games won adjudged as the winner in their head-to-head match.