Andy Murray signed by Bangkok as League offer players £14m
Owners of the four city franchises that will compete in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League at the end of this year committed yesterday to paying players a total of nearly $24m (about £14.3m).
Although the competition will be smaller than originally announced – with four teams rather than five and matches taking place over two weeks rather than three – it still promises to be a big money-spinner for the players.
The initial rosters show that a total of 28 players have been signed up so far by the four teams, which will be based in Bangkok, Dubai, Mumbai and Singapore. That suggests each player will be paid an average of $888,000 (about £530,000), though several will be earning significantly more than that.
The IPTL, based loosely on cricket’s Indian Premier League, held its first “player auction” in Dubai yesterday. No details of individual deals were disclosed, but the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams are certain to be well recompensed.
Each of the four teams will have squads of between six and 10 players. The teams are expected to play six matches each – three at home and three away – between 28 November and 14 December. Matches are expected to last three hours, in the format of one set of men’s singles, one of women’s singles, one of men’s doubles, one of mixed doubles and one of legends’ singles. The full schedule is not out until the end of March, and the identities of the team owners are yet to be revealed.
Not all players must commit for the whole competition. Murray is understood to have said he will not play in the latter stages because he wants to be training in Florida then.
The Scot has been recruited by the Bangkok franchise, along with Victoria Azarenka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It would be no surprise if Murray appears only in the home matches, which are expected to be on 2, 3 and 4 December.
The Mumbai franchise looks to be paying the most, having recruited Nadal, Pete Sampras and Ana Ivanovic, while Dubai, headed by Djokovic, has a strong Serbian bias.
Team line-ups: Singapore: T Berdych, A Agassi, L Hewitt, S Williams, B Soares, P Rafter, D Hantuchova, N Krygios. Bangkok: A Murray, J-W Tsonga, V Azarenka, D Nestor, C Moya, K Flipkens. Mumbai: R Nadal, G Monfils, P Sampras, R Bopanna, A Ivanovic, S Mirza, F Santoro. Dubai: N Djokovic, C Wozniacki, G Ivanisevic, J Tipsarevic, N Zimonjic, M Jaziri, M Hingis
Manchester City vs Southampton: Frank Lampard shuns the limelight ahead of his Premier League farewell
Francis Coquelin: The would-be Zinedine Zidane now making an impression as Arsenal’s Claude Makelele
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Gunners snub that redefined Tim Sherwood
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
'I think you are an ostrich': The funniest managerial quotes of the 2014/15 Premier League season
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 3 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland