IPTL 2016: Absence of Roger Federer, Serena Williams in India leg takes sheen off third season

After two intense legs in Tokyo and Singapore, the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) comes to Hyderabad tomorrow for the final and decisive leg where the final would take place.

Unlike the last two seasons, the IPTL falls short on star power with the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal not featuring this time.

 IPTL 2016: Absence of Roger Federer, Serena Williams in India leg takes sheen off third season

File photo of Sania Mirza. Reuters

However, star player of local team Indian Aces, Sania Mirza, said she is looking forward to play in her home town Hyderabad.

"I am looking forward to go to Hyderabad. Actually the city has a very rich culture of sport, with amazing athletes coming from there. People follow the tennis all year round and have a deep knowledge of the sport in general. I really hope they come to support us," an IPTL release quoted her as saying.

The women's doubles world number one, who won six Grand Slam titles, would be playing for the first time since 2015 in front of her home crowd.

"It is very special for me to play there. The last time was almost two years ago and before that it was actually in 2005 so it is always special to play back home because it reminds you where you come from, your beginnings, the journey you have had," she said.

Playing for the IPTL for the third time, Sania said she loves the format. "As tennis players we play such an individual sport that it's great to be part of a team. It is a really fun format but also a very competitive one," she said.

"Even if you play just one set, you are living every point with them because all the emotions you go through. Actually I think it's tougher to watch than to play, at least in my opinion. Emotionally, when you finish the match, you feel like you have played the five sets. That's what makes the format so special," she added.

The Gachibowli indoor stadium would play host to the IPTL matches from 9-11 December. IPTL is being held for the first time in Hyderabad as the home team shifted to the city of pearls from New Delhi.

Updated Date: Dec 08, 2016 22:36:53 IST