Current World number 7 Eugenie Bouchard, who was to represent UAE Royals in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League, has withdrawn from the event due to an injury she had sustained while training on Monday.
Talented French star Kristina Mladenovic will take Bouchard's place and play for the UAE Royals in the upcoming professional team tennis competition.
Speaking about her exit, Bouchard said, "I'm really disappointed I will be unable to compete in the IPTL this year due to an injury that I recently suffered in practice. I was excited to be part of the first year and represent the team from Dubai. I wish all of the players the best of luck and I sincerely hope to be healthy and back part of the IPTL next year."
Mahesh Bhupathi, on behalf of the IPTL said, "Genie's exit from the IPTL is disappointing news but we're glad that Kristina was readily available to take her place. We wish Genie a quick recovery. We look forward to her joining us in season two."
The UAE Royals are all set for the three-day extravaganza that will see them playing their first ever IPTL match in Dubai against Manila Mavericks in the inaugural edition of the competition that features the best current and past champions across four countries.
The UAE Royals boast of top players that includes World Number 1 Novak Djokovic, World No.9 Marin Cilic, former World Number 1 Caroline Wozniacki, the legendary Goran Ivanisevic, who is also Cilic's coach, doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic, and the Number 1 Arab player Malek Jaziri.
The Royals will represent the UAE in 24 matches across the Philippines, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates between 28 November and 13 December.