Mumbai bags US Open champion Pennetta, Hingis in Team Hyderabad

Mumbai, Sep 23 (IANS) Reigning US Open champion Flavia Pennetta will play for Mumbai Masters while Swiss veteran Martina Hingis will represent Hyderabad Aces in this year’s Champions Tennis League (CTL), following the players’ draft here on Wednesday.

Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, who is the mastermind behind this league, announced that the second season of the CTL will see 13 matches played over a two-week period from November 23 to December 6.

The first match will be played in Mumbai. The league will feature a total of six teams, of which five have been finalised.

Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Raipur and Nagpur are the five franchises. The sixth team will be selected from among Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru within 10 days.

The CTL champion will receive a prize money of crore, while the runners-up will get Rs.50 lakh.

The current men’s top players who will feature in the league are Andreas Seppi of Italy (Mumbai), Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis (Punjab Marshalls, Chandigarh), and French professionals Feliciano Lopez (Team Nagpur) and Fernando Verdasco (for the undecided team).

Among the women players who will play in the six teams alongside Pennetta and Hingis are Serbian Jelena Jankovic (Nagpur), France’s Alize Cornet (Raipur), Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina (Chandigarh) and Heather Watson of Britain (sixth team).

Speaking on the occasion, Amritraj said, “The inaugural season of the CLT saw many international stars take their world class talent to six cities in India with great players bringing action packed and exciting tennis to all parts of the country.”

“Cities like Raipur and Nagpur will get to see world class tennis and we are very delighted to have these cities join CTL in 2015. This year, we move to 14 days, from 10 last year, and CTL promises to be bigger, better and stronger!” he said.

A couple of changes in the format were made following the first edition of the CTL.

Keeping in mind the fans and the broadcasters, a match should not last more than two hours. A set can be won when it is 6-5 while a tie-breaker will be played only when it is 4-4.

There will not be a deuce so the player who gets to 40 points first wins the game. It was also announced that all the matches will be played on hard courts, but only Raipur can use an indoor stadium if needed.

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