IPTL can do for tennis what IPL has done for cricket, says Leander Paes

PTI
Published Dec 11, 2015, 3:32 pm IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 6:58 pm IST
Paes hopes to represent Indian Aces in next season of IPTL.
Indian tennis ace Leander Paes, who is currently playing for UAE Royals in the star-studded International Premier Tennis League, hopes to represent Indian Aces in the next edition of the tournament. (Photo: PTI)
 Indian tennis ace Leander Paes, who is currently playing for UAE Royals in the star-studded International Premier Tennis League, hopes to represent Indian Aces in the next edition of the tournament. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Dropping hints that he might turn up for 'Indian Aces' next season, Leander Paes on Thursday said that International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) will have a similar impact on country's tennis just like the cash-rich Indian Premier League has had on cricket.

"It (IPTL) showcases tennis and it showcases with top players. A country, which is starved to see quality players, as many times as we can motivate people, it will be good. IPTL is doing to tennis in India what IPL did to cricket," Paes said after his Japan team's 24-21 win over UAE Royals.

 

"If stands were full, it would have been fantastic. I am surprised to see lack of turn-out," said the veteran doubles specialist.

Paes' team won its first match of the season and it was his men's doubles win with Pierre- Hugues Herbert that did the turnaround on Thursday.

Paes said the owners of the Indian team are well aware of what he can do in the men's doubles and hinted that he may join Indian Aces next season.

"I met the owners and the sponsors and they said that they (team) are winning but still losing the men's doubles set. They said, "Your team wins doubles game but loses matches, so you can play for us next year". I said "speak then". I would love to play for India with Federer and Nadal," Paes said after the match.

 

Asked how it feels to play for a foreign team on his own soil, Paes said, "I would love to play for India. This Indian team won the IPTL and they wanted to continue with the same combination."

"It's great to be back in India and get on board. We won the first match of the season. Dubai have depth and it was good playing against them today than two days later, when they will have Federer. I am happy to get the team on a roll (with his doubles win)."

The team management opted to play Frenchman Herbert in the mixed doubles with Mirjana Lucic and Paes made his disappointment clear.

 

"I am dying to go out there and play two matches but Herbert is also playing so well. It has been the best Mixed doubles season I had but I was benched. Normally, I am not benched for mixed doubles but Herbert is also playing so well," the disappointment was palpable for the Olympic bronze medallist, who won three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles with Martina Hingis this year.

Meanwhile, Goran Ivanisevic, one of the best servers of the game in his heydays, said he prepared well to play here.

"I trained hard, lost a few kilos. It's different, coaching and playing. It's a lot of stress. Every game counts. I feel great having played six matches so far, no injuries. Body is feeling great."

 

The tall Croat said motivation was not an issue even when they are playing in exhibition matches.

 

 

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