The International Premier Tennis League is set to debut at the end of 2014. The new competition may be controversial, but it will feature the best tennis player in the world.
According to multiple reports, Rafael Nadal will compete in the inaugural event. It’s set to take place between Nov. 28 and Dec. 20. The matches will be played in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong, and the teams will bid for their players in Dubai on Sunday.
Why is Nadal participating in the new tournament? Money likely has something to do with it. Reports state that he’s set to earn $1 million a night. According to Forbes, Nadal ranked 30th last year among all athletes, making $26.4 million.
The new league is being created by Mahesh Bhupath, and is using the blueprint of cricket’s Indian Premier League. The teams will sign different tennis stars, including both men and women.
Nadal may not be the only big name set to compete in the offseason league. Andy Murray is reportedly in talks to join the IPTL, and Novak Djokovic was set to meet with Bhupath. As far as women tennis players go, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska are rumored to have signed up for the tournament.
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The league won’t get underway for several more months, but Nadal is coming off a win at the Rio Open. He defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov on Sunday, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Nadal was unbothered by a back injury that he sustained when he lost at the Australian Open a month ago.