TENNIS aficionados excited to see the likes of Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play live this December will have to shell out some serious dough in the Manila leg of the International Premier Tennis League.
The schedules and ticket prices for the IPTL’s second season were released during a press event at the Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday afternoon.
Clementine Apacible, IPTL project head in Manila, said organizers are offering a 15-percent discount for its three-day early-bird ticket prices. Still, VIP will cost a cool P49,000 while a Patron seat costs P40,000.
Those watching from the lower box will have to pay P23,000 while an upper box ticket will sell for P11,600. The cheapest way to catch the actions is through general admission at P2,600. The promo runs until September 30.
Speaking via Skype from Dubai, IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi promised the third installment of the IPTL will be “bigger and better."
This year installment features four teams composed of 37 players bannered by Williams, Federer and Nadal.
Williams, the world No.1 women’s singles player, has confirmed to play for the Philippine Mavericks in all three days from December 6-8 at the MOA Arena while Nadal will playing with the Indian Aces for two days.
The Philippine schedule of the IPTL Manila leg is as follows:
Dec. 6: Sunday Singapore Slammers vs. Japan Warriors
UAE Royals vs. Philippine Mavericks
Dec. 7, Monday Indian Aces vs. UAE Royals
Japan Warriors vs. Philippine Mavericks
Dec. 8, Tuesday UAE Royals vs. Singapore Slammers
Indian Aces vs. Philippine Mavericks
Bhupathi, the first Indian to win a Grand Slam tournament, said Manila was the “most exciting” of the IPTL venues last year and predicted that “every night will be a big night especially with Serena having a Grand Slam year.”
He added that the Philippine-Spain connection will help Nadal who he said was "excited" to play in Manila when they met during the US Open.
From December 6-8, the Philippine Mavericks will be facing the UAE Royals, newcomer Japan Warriors, and the Indian Aces.
Williams, who is currently competing in the US Open, is set to beat the record of Steffi Graf as the women’s singles player with the most grand slams.
Joining Williams in the Philippine Mavericks is current top 10 men’s singles player, Milos Raonic. The up and coming Raonic will be going head to head against Nadal.
Nadal, currently ranked No. 8 in the World, will also face UAE Royals’ Tomas Berdych on court. Berdych presently ranks sixth in the ATP men’s singles titles.
Other players confirmed to play in the Philippines are: last year’s US Open Champ Marin Cilic, Australian legend Mark Philippousis, top women players Sabine Lisicki of Germany and Jarmila Gadjosova of Slovakia, Croatian tennis prodigy Borna Coric and Filipino doubles specialist Treat Huey.
Apacible said China, Vietnam and Hong Kong have expressed interest in joining the IPTL but the tourney will study adding teams only after the 2016 Olympics.
Partners of the event are PLDT Home and Smart. Official car partners are Jaguar and Land Rover. Other backers are VISA, CITIBANK, Ag88.com, Air21, Manila Polo Club, and the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines.
Tickets may be purchased at any SM Tickets branch located at any SM Cinema nationwide. For ticket inquiries to the IPTL, visit www.smtickets.com or dial 470-2222.