Roger Federer and Serena Williams have pulled out of this season’s International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
The multiple grand slam champions were due to play within the very last leg of this year’s event in Hyderabad from December 9th to 11th. Federer was to play for the Indian aces even as Williams was to play for the Singapore slammers.
“We’ve got had demanding situations this year, and we were hoping to get beyond them,” founder and the Managing Director of IPTL Mahesh Bhupathi said. He also issued in a statement that both players have been supportive of the IPTL in the first two seasons and he is looking up to bring them back in future years.
The withdrawal of Federer and Williams robs the tournament of its sheen. It had already been reduced to a 3-town affair from the five cities that had featured on the calendar within the previous years. There had been masses of exhilaration surrounding the advent of Federer and Williams, particularly for the reason that both have not performed competitively for some months now.
Federer has been out since July following knee surgery even as Williams last performed at the USA open, following which she has stayed far away from the circuit with shoulder damage. She was scheduled to appear in the Singapore leg starting today.
Federer’s agent Tony Godsick was quoted to have said in a statement that his withdrawal was due to some troubles and uncertainties surrounding the IPTL. He gave the optimism that Federer hopes to play in future years if the IPTL continues.
There has been speculation of the IPTL batting economic concerns. The large reduction within the field along with a number of high-profile players being unavailable these 12 months has led to hypothesis about the future of the event itself. In preceding years, except Federer and Williams, the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have performed in the IPTL.