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Big money in new league lures Nadal and other top stars

Back in 2011, Rafael Nadal commented on the physical toll of the long tennis season,

Team SingaporeSerena Williams attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
The matches are all part of the International Premier Tennis League
(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

“The schedule is crazy,” Nadal, said in an interview. “It’s crazy now, it was crazy before and it will still be crazy next year. You can’t make your body go to the limit for the whole year. It’s just not possible.”

Fast forward to 2014 with Nadal possibly making $1 million dollars per match in a new series of exhibition matches, that "crazy" schedule is now possible.

The matches are all part of the International Premier Tennis League by former tennis player, Mahesh Bhupathi. The league takes place at the end of the formal tennis season in November and December.

Along with Nadal, many top players from today and yesteryear will all get nice paydays to play exhibition matches throughout Asia. For now, the league consists of four teams from Mumbai, Bankok, Singapore and Dubai.

Among the big hitters joining Nadal will be Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki. Some of the tennis greats from the past will include Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Martina Hingis.

Each match will be five sets, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and a mixed doubles. If tied at two-all there will be a deciding men’s legends doubles.

Noticeably missing is Roger Federer who said, "Firstly, I want to see whether it takes off. I know a lot of people have invested in it or are part of it".

Trying to deflect some criticism leveled at the players who have complained that the tennis season is too long, Murray stated,

“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 International Premier Tennis League sounds like a great idea by mixing great players in a part of the world where tennis is growing. Right now the money is doing the talking but will fans do the listening?

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