• Tennis

Murray claims IPTL is 'fantastic'

ESPN staff
March 5, 2014
Murray pleased to be pain-free

Andy Murray has revealed his enthusiasm for the International Premier Tennis League, the city-based exhibition tournament set to make its debut in November.

The British No.1 was snapped up by Bangkok in last Sunday's auction, for what was said to be a seven-figure sum, to play during the first week in December.

The new league - the IPTL - is the brainchild of Mahesh Bhupathi, who remains on good terms with Murray despite failing to make an impact as the Scot's commercial advisor last year.

Murray, who took part in a friendly against Novak Djokovic in New York on Monday to celebrate World Tennis Day, said: "Playing in exhibitions can be good.

Time to get down to business

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic mess around during their recent exhibition © Getty Images
  • After their hits-and-giggles friendly in New York, it's time for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to concentrate on Indian Wells, writes Greg Garber.
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"You can try things out that you wouldn't normally and you will be doing it against the top players.

"There is still some distance to go but the idea is fantastic and it could work very well. It can definitely help grow the game in a market where there is a big interest in tennis."

The ITPL has been criticised after claims that players play too much tennis as it is but Murray insists the new league would not exacerbate the situation.

"I haven't been big into playing exhibitions," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I have taken my training very seriously for a number of years, gone to Miami in the off season.

"My agreement to play in the league was for one week in one city, so I could do all my training and play some matches against some good players which in the off season isn't easy to find.

"As for the schedule, people get it mixed up. It's great that there are so many tennis events. The problem is about the amount of mandatory events we need to play.

"There are maybe one or two tournaments throughout the year which we can decide if we want to play, the rest we are told where to go."

The IPTL will see a total of 24 matches played between November 28 and December 13, with all four teams competing in one of the cities over a three-day period before moving to the next.

Each match will consist of a men's singles, a women's singles, a men's doubles, a mixed doubles and a legends' singles, with one set of each.

A tie-break will come into play if the score reaches 5-5, with the match winner to be decided by total games won by each team.

The first fixtures will take place from November 28-30 in Singapore, before the tournament moves to Bangkok (December 2-4), Mumbai (December 7-9) and finally Dubai (December 11-13).

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