2014 International Premier Tennis League season
|2014 International Premier Tennis League season|
|League||International Premier Tennis League|
|Duration||28 November–13 December 2014|
|Number of teams||4|
|TV partner(s)|| ABS-CBN|
Abu Dhabi Media
Integrated Sports Media
|League champions||Indian Aces |
The 2014 International Premier Tennis League season (2014 IPTL season, officially the 2014 Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League Presented by Qatar Airways season pursuant to sponsorship agreements with The Coca-Cola Company and Qatar Airways) is the inaugural season of the professional team tennis league contested by four teams in Asia.
- 1 Competition format
- 2 Founding of the league and charter franchises
- 3 Inaugural draft
- 4 Event chronology
- 5 Results table
- 6 Standings
- 7 Television coverage
- 8 Sponsorship
- 9 Result
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Four teams will compete for the IPTL Challenge Trophy and a US$1 million grand prize by earning the most points in the team standings. A team that wins a match tie is awarded four points. A team that loses a match tie but wins at least 20 games in the match earns two points. A team that loses a match tie but wins at least 10 games earns one point. Each team will play 12 matches: three at home, three on the road and six at neutral sites. Each match comprises five sets each of a different category as follows:
- Men's singles
- Women's singles
- Men's doubles
- Mixed doubles
- Past champions' singles
The order of play is decided by the coach of the home team. If two teams are playing at a neutral site, then a coin toss determines which coach chooses the order of play. The first serve in the first set is determined by a coin toss. The team that served last in the last game or tiebreaker of the previous set will receive during the next set.
Each team can call a power point once in each set when receiving serve, and the next point played will count double. Effectively, a player trailing 15–0 can directly get to 15–30 by winning the power point.
Games are played to four points using no-ad scoring. Each game won by a player or doubles team adds one point to the team's score in the match. The team with the most points at the end of the five sets wins the match. Each set is won when a team is the first to reach six games won. If the score is five-games-all, a timed five-minute shoot-out will be played. The player or doubles team leading at the end of five minutes wins the set.
If the team that wins the fifth set is leading the match, the match is over. If the score is tied after one team has won the fifth set, a timed seven-minute men's singles super shoot-out is played. The result counts as a game point won. If the team that wins the fifth set is trailing in the match, the match will go to sudden-death overtime effectively extending the fifth set. If the leading team wins one game in overtime, it wins the match tie. If the trailing team wins enough games in overtime to tie the score without losing a game, a timed seven-minute men's singles super shoot-out is played to decide the winner of the match tie. A coin toss decides who serves first in the super shoot-out.
In the event that two or more teams share the highest points on the final tally, the criteria to decide the champion are
- Head-to-head results
- Number of games won
- Number of games lost
- Biggest games margin in any single match win
- Coin toss
Founding of the league and charter franchises
Mahesh Bhupathi announced the founding of the International Premier Tennis League on 25 May 2013, in Paris. The initial plan was to start the league with six charter franchises in Asia with the inaugural season commencing in November 2014.
On 21 January 2014, IPTL announced the locations of the six charter franchises for the league's inaugural season. Five franchises would play their home matches in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Singapore. A sixth franchise would play its home matches in an undisclosed city in the Middle East. There was confusion surrounding the announcement. Some media outlets reported that there would be five franchises, not six as had been previously announced, and did not include the Hong Kong franchise among the five. Later news reports in February 2014, indicated that there would be five franchises including one based in Hong Kong but not one in the Middle East.
IPTL conducted its inaugural player draft on 2 March. Right up until the day before the draft, the media remained under the impression that the Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur franchises would participate in the league and that the Middle East franchise was doubtful. However, only four teams participated in the draft: Bangkok, Mumbai, Singapore and Middle East now referred to as the Dubai franchise. No mention was made by IPTL of the Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur franchises which had abruptly disappeared.
By May, the Dubai franchise was being referred to as the UAE Falcons, the Mumbai franchise had been named the Indian Aces, and the Singapore franchise was being referred to as the Singapore Lions.
On 19 June, an IPTL press release revealed the owners of the four franchises to the general public. The owner of the Indian franchise, Micromax Informatics Ltd. proved to be the reason the team was no longer called the Mumbai franchise, because it preferred to have the team play its home matches in New Delhi. A group called PVP Ventures led by entrepreneur Prasad V Potluri (Telugu: ప్రసాద్ వి పొట్లూరి) and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar had been the original franchise owners with a plan to play home matches in Mumbai. While league managing director Bhupathi said PVP Ventures had been replaced by Micromax, because PVP missed a payment deadline, PVP said it had withdrawn from the league due to lack of clarity over how IPTL's business model was progressing and disagreements over player contracts. PVP did not want the team to be solely responsible for payment of player salaries and favored the league being obligated as well.
Summary of the evolution of the charter franchise names
- Bangkok → Manila → Manila Mavericks
- Hong Kong → franchise abandoned
- Kuala Lumpur → franchise abandoned
- Middle East → Dubai → UAE Falcons → UAE Royals
- Mumbai → India → Indian Aces
- Singapore → Singapore Lions → Singapore Slammers
For the inaugural draft, each team was subject to a salary cap of US$10 million. Players who had expressed a willingness to participate were selected by the league and placed into categories. Teams could bid on these players with the player signing with the highest bidder in an auction-style format. Bids would be taken on 28 players in which the teams expressed interest in signing including players not categorized by IPTL. Each team participating in the draft was required to sign at least six players and could not sign more than ten.
Players by category
Players were placed into the following categories:
|Icon players||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||Andre Agassi|
|Category A||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Tomáš Berdych|
|Category B||Gaël Monfils||Lleyton Hewitt|
|Category D||Janko Tipsarević|
|Past champions||Carlos Moyá||Goran Ivanišević||Fabrice Santoro||Patrick Rafter|
|Doubles players||Daniel Nestor||Nenad Zimonjić||Rohan Bopanna||Bruno Soares|
|Uncategorized||Malek Jaziri||Nick Kyrgios|
|Icon players||Maria Sharapova||Caroline Wozniacki||Serena Williams|
|Category B||Ana Ivanovic|
|Category C||Martina Hingis||Daniela Hantuchová|
|Category D||Kirsten Flipkens||Sania Mirza|
- 25 May 2013: Mahesh Bhupathi announced the formation of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) with the inaugural season commencing in November 2014.
- 21 January 2014: IPTL announced the six charter franchises will be based in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and an undisclosed city in the Middle East.
- 2 March: IPTL conducted its inaugural player draft. The Bangkok, Mumbai, Singapore and Middle East (now referred to as Dubai) franchises participated. No mention was made by IPTL of previously announced Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur franchises which abruptly disappeared.
- 10 May: The Dubai franchise is referred to as the UAE Falcons. The Mumbai franchise is named the Indian Aces. The Singapore franchise is referred to as the Singapore Lions.
- 10 May: IPTL announced that the Bangkok franchise has moved to Manila, Philippines.
- 19 June: With the announcement of the franchise owners, it is revealed that Micromax has replaced PVP Ventures as the owner of the Indian Aces, and the team will play its home matches in New Delhi, not in Mumbai as had been originally planned.
- 25 June: The Manila franchise was named the Manila Mavericks. The Singapore Lions had their name changed to the Singapore Slammers. The UAE Falcons had their name changed to the UAE Royals.
- 22 September: The Aces announced that Rafael Nadal will not play due to an injury. As a replacement, the Aces signed Roger Federer.
- 28 November: The Indian Aces defeated the Singapore Slammers, 26–16, in the first match in IPTL history. Rohan Bopanna served the first point of the league's inaugural match.
- 30 November: The Indian Aces defeated the UAE Royals, 28–20, in a matchup of two previously unbeaten teams. The Aces improved their record to 3 wins and 0 losses and moved into first place in the league standings.
- 13 December: The Indian Aces are season champions after finishing with 8 wins and 4 losses and 39 points overall. The UAE Royals finish second, the Manila Mavericks finish third and the Singapore Slammers end in last place. 
|Abbreviation and Color Key:|
Indian Aces (IND) • Manila Mavericks (MAN) • Singapore Slammers (SIN) • UAE Royals (UAE)
• • • •
|Nov 28||Nov 29||Nov 30||Dec 2||Dec 3||Dec 4||Dec 6||Dec 7||Dec 8||Dec 11||Dec 12||Dec 13|
|Indian Aces (2014 season)||SIN||MAN||UAE||UAE||SIN||MAN||MAN||SIN||UAE||SIN||MAN||UAE|
|Manila Mavericks (2014 season)||UAE||IND||SIN||SIN||UAE||IND||IND||UAE||SIN||UAE||IND||SIN|
|Singapore Slammers (2014 season)||IND||UAE||MAN||MAN||IND||UAE||UAE||IND||MAN||IND||UAE||MAN|
|UAE Royals (2014 season)||MAN||SIN||IND||IND||MAN||SIN||SIN||MAN||IND||MAN||SIN||IND|
Standings are determined by points with four points awarded for each match won, two points awarded for each match lost in which te team won 20 or more games and one point awarded for each match lost in which the team won between 10 and 19 games. In case of a tie in point, teams are placed by games won percentage.
The following table shows the day-by-day position of each team in the league standings.
On 22 August 2014, IPTL announced it had reached an agreement for the Middle East and North Africa television broadcasting rights with Abu Dhabi Media. On 16 October 2014, IPTL announced that STAR Sports would broadcast the league's matches live in both standard definition and high definition in India during its inaugural 2014 season. The league's matches will also be available live on STAR Sports's website. On 4 November 2014, Integrated Sports Media announced it had reached a deal with IPTL to televise every league match of the 2014 season on a pay-per-view basis in the United States. On 7 November 2014, IPTL announced it had reached agreements on television broadcast contracts with ABS-CBN in the Philippines and SingTel in Singapore. ABS-CBN will telecast the matches in the Philippines on the ABS-CBN Sports+Action and Balls channels.
The league also said there would be television coverage of its matches in the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil. In total, television coverage of IPTL matches will be available in more than 125 countries worldwide and reach over 300 million households.
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