Supriya Saxena, New Delhi:
The Tennis Premier League (TPL), packages traditional tennis into a highly entertaining tournament to capture the imagination of fans. With an unorthodox format, it is set to be a tennis equivalent to the Indian Premier League and is returning for its fourth season this year. The star-studded competition is set to begin on December 7 and conclude on December 11. The tournament will take place in Pune at the Balewadi Stadium. In the fourth season of Tennis Premier League, eight franchises will compete for the prized trophy: Bengaluru Spartans, Chennai Stallions, Delhi Binny’s Brigade, Finecab Hyderabad Strikers, Gujarat Panthers, Mumbai Leon Army and Pune Jaguars. One franchise will soon be announced.
In August, the Tennis Premier League’s player draft for the 2022 season is set to take place. Through Tennis Premier League, a few upcoming Indian stars will also get the chance to rub shoulders with some of the finest players in the world. The organizers also intend to stage a talent scouting event in October in four cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat. Each team will get one wild card entry from these talent scouting events.
Here is a quick look at the format, all 8 franchises, will play a total of 4 matches to qualify for the semi-final. Each match between two franchises will have a total of 4 games (Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles). Where each game will be worth 20 points, thus there will be a total of 80 points at stake in each match. Each team will play a total of 320 points (80 points x 4 matches) at the league stage. The top 4 teams in the points table will qualify for the semi-finals. One player can only play two games in every match.
The new 2022 Wimbledon men’s doubles champion Matthew Ebden will be the marquee player for Tennis Premier League and has been appointed as its international spokesperson for season 4. Speaking about the upcoming event fresh off his Grand Slam win, the popular Australian ace said, “2022 has been the standout year of my career and at this time, I am delighted to be joining the TPL family to help extend this riveting form and grow its awareness internationally.”
“I’ve always had a special connection with India and shared great relations with Indian tennis players on tour and huge appreciation for the passion Indians have for tennis. Naturally, I am super excited to return to the country and be a part of this, especially in Pune where I have fond memories. India has so much potential and I hope to witness and inspire some young rising talent during my visit,” he added.
Indian legend Leander Paes, the owner of Mumbai Leon Army and who was Matt Ebden’s doubles partner on the tour in 2021, was among the first few to comment on Tennis Premier League 4 and the tennis maestro was beaming with excitement as he spoke about the upcoming event.
“I am pumped up to hear this news. I am excited about the talent that is coming to the league this season, which will probably make this the most competitive edition. I am elated that Tennis Premier League is organizing a scouting event to give back to the community and find hidden gems at the grass-root level,” Paes remarked.
“I am excited for the fourth season of the Tennis Premier League, especially since they are packaging it into a highly entertaining format for the fans. The league has made significant contributions to the growth of grassroots tennis in India, and we will keep doing so. With Tennis Premier League, we hope to make India a global force in tennis and provide young children with role models. I would also like to thank the city of Pune for hosting this wonderful tournament” said Sunder Iyer, Joint secretary of All India Tennis Association and Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.