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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Tennis

Agassi unhappy with ITPL dates
Reuters
London, March 04, 2014
First Published: 00:37 IST(4/3/2014)
Last Updated: 00:39 IST(4/3/2014)

Andre Agassi will snub the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) if it clashes with Thanksgiving, the former world No 1 said the day after being signed up by the Singapore franchise.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion was named in Sunday's player draft for the new Asia-based event but said he had since learned the first match would clash with the November holiday.

"It's a good thing to take tennis to places in the world where they want to see it. There's no downside in doing that," American Agassi said ahead of his World Tennis Day showdown with former arch-rival Pete Sampras in London.

"My agreement to do it was based on a few very specific conditions. Certainly economics played a little part in it but also time away played another part.

"I can't be away for more than four or five days so I set some limitations and had some dates in December.

"Now I read in an email that the dates are over Thanksgiving," said the 43-year-old Agassi who is married to former women's world No 1 Steffi Graf and has two children.

"That would be a non-starter for me. Six or seven days away is too much of a price to pay."

The draft for the IPTL set up by Mahesh Bhupathi saw the four teams — Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok and Mumbai — bid for players. Organisers said a total of $24 million was spent.

Agassi was selected for Singapore along with world number one Serena Williams and Czech Tomas Berdych while 14-times major winner Sampras is set to join Rafa Nadal in the Mumbai team. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic head up the Bangkok and Dubai squads.

The IPTL is scheduled to begin in Singapore on November 28.


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