MANILA, Philippines – Coming off a fighting third place finish in last year’s inaugural staging of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), the Manila Mavericks revamped its lineup in a bid to grab the overall crown in this year’s competition.
No less than the world’s number one woman player Serena Williams is leading the charge for the Mavericks. Owner of 19 Grand Slam singles titles, Williams has been dominating the women’s competition for more than a decade already.
“We are looking forward to the coming season of the IPTL. While we fell short last year, this year seems to be more promising for the team. We have exerted efforts to come out with the best possible team we can form so our Mavericks fans will not be let down. We are very excited to have the calibre of Serena Williams in our fold,” said sports patron and Mavericks team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Joining Williams in the team are former world top 10 players – Frenchmen Wilfred Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, 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.
“We have a very balanced team and everyone is capable of delivering the wins. We have very reasonable chances to contend for the title this year,” added Lhuillier.
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The 18-year-old Coric, the 2013 US Open Junior singles champion, is the fastest rising star in the ATP tennis circuit, boasting of wins against top players such as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
Former world number one Nadal is one of the other tennis superstars participating in this year’s edition of IPTL. Nadal will be playing for the first time in IPTL and will banner defending champions Indian Aces.
Also returning to the Indian Aces are Gael Monfils, Fabrice Santoro, Sania Mirza, and Rohan Bopanna. They will be joined by Agnieszka Radwanska and Ivan Dodig.
The Singapore Slammers will feature world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Marcelo Melo, Belinda Bencic, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Karolina Pliskova and Carlos Moya.
The UAE Royals will have Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic, Ana Ivanovic, Marin Cilic, Daniel Nestor, Kristina Mladenovic and Tomas Berdych.
Meanwhile, the newly formed Japan Warriors will feature former Maverick Maria Sharapova along with Kei Nishikori, Kurumi Nara, Vasek Pospisil, Leander Paes, Daniela Hantuchova, Lucas Pouille and Marat Safin.
The 2015 season of the IPTL will launch on December 2 in Japan and will run until December 20.