Serena Williams' arrival raises Mavericks hopes as IPTL returns to Manila in December
Serena Williams will now lead the charge for the Philippine Mavericks in the IPTL. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippine Mavericks will field a stronger side in its title bid as the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) returns to Manila for its second season on December 6 to 8 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After finishing third in the inaugural edition last year, the Mavericks are gunning for the crown this season.

To achieve that, the Manila hosts nabbed world No. 1 Serena Williams in the recent draft to more than make up for the departure of another women's star in Maria Sharapova.

They Said It!

When the opportunity presented itself to pick Serena, we took it." Mavericks co-owner Jean-Henri Lhuillier

"When the opportunity presented itself to pick Serena, we took it," Mavericks co-owner Jean-Henri Lhuillier said. "We have a formidable team this year."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mark Philippousis, and Filipino Treat Huey are the holdovers, while Richard Gasquet, Jarmila Gajdosova, Borna Coric, and Sabine Lisicki comprise the Mavericks' additions this year.

Also part of the revamp of the PH side is its change in name from Manila to Philippine Mavericks.

“We just want a larger scope,” Lhuillier said. “We want to represent the whole country.”

Sharapova went to the Japan Warriors, the IPTL's newest member, completing the cast of the revolutionary competition that also has Singapore, India, and UAE.

Rafael Nadal banners the Indian Aces’ quest to regain the crown.

The Manila leg is the second leg of the four-city tour kicking off in Japan on December 2. The competition then heads to New Delhi then Dubai before ending in Singapore.

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