I hope you didn’t miss the Swiss in last week’s Davis Cup final but, whether you did or you didn’t, we’ve got a tennis tip for you for the new International Premier Tennis League which starts this Friday (November 28).
The league is comprised of four teams, The Indian Aces, Singapore Slammers, Manila Mavericks and UAE Royals, with the teams made up of players from men’s tennis, women’s tennis and male stars of the past. The team are:
Players: Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Pete Sampras, Fabrice Santoro, Rohan Bopanna
Players: Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova, Kirsten Flipkens, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor, Treat Huey
Players: Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Serena Williams, Daniela Hantuchova, Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter, Bruno Soares
Players: Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Malek Jaziri, Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard, Goran Ivanisevic, Nenad Zimonjic
The format should be a lot of fun to watch, as each match will comprise a men’s singles, a women’s singles, a men’s doubles, a mixed doubles and a men’s legends singles – all of which will be decided by one set of tennis. These sets will be traditional first-to-six games sets though, if the score reaches 5-5, a special tie-break will be played to produce a winner.
There will also be gimmicky inclusions such as a shot-clock to enforce the maximum 20 seconds between each point and three minutes between each set, whilst each team may also call a time-out (60 seconds) during each set. The next point at deuce wins the game. A ‘Power Point’ is available to each team during each set, which can only be taken when receiving and means the next point counts double. Therefore, a game can be won at 30-30 with a successful Power Point. The matches have been designed to be completed in three hours – in a bid to make it compulsive TV.
In the league, a team will receive four points for winning a match, whilst a losing team will receive two points if they win a total of 20 games or more, and one point if they manage to win between 10 and 19 games.
At the end of all the matches, if two teams have the same number of points, the winner of the league will be decided by: head-to-head record. If that doesn’t split them then the following will be used in order to decide the winner: games won; games lost; biggest games margin in any single match win; toss of a coin.
From a betting point-of-view, with so many unusual rules and players likely to be playing to the crowds and having some fun, it’s probably not an event to get stuck into too much at this early stage. However the league should be a really entertaining spectacle, one that has been designed to capture public imagination along the lines of the 20/20 cricket – and a small bet should make it even more exciting.
The betting is 5/2 The Indian Aces and The UAE Royals, 3/1 The Singapore Slammers and 100/30 The Manila Mavericks, and with Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, the two most successful players of all-time, in the same team I’m going to risk a couple of points on the Indian Aces.
2 points The Indian Aces @ 5/2