Hyderabad: Vijay Amritraj-promoted Champions Tennis League (CTL) on Thursday unveiled the new team, Hyderabad Aces for the inaugural edition of the tournament, commencing on November 17.
Hyderabad recently replaced Chennai team in the southern group. The Chennai players — Mark Philippoussis, Martina Hingis, Mikhail Youzhny and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan — will now represent the Hyderabad franchise.
Hyderabad Aces would play four rounds before qualifying for the final. The home games will be held at the LB Stadium Tennis complex on November 17 (vs Bangalore) and November 18 (vs Pune).
The reverse games will be played on November 21 in Bangalore and on November 23 in Pune. The finals of the CTL would be played on November 26 in Delhi.
CTL is a six-city league-cum-finals format to be played across India.
Amritraj, who unveiled the Hyderabad team, said the league would help promote tennis in the country with international players participating in the event.
“It is exciting to have a Hyderabad team in the tournament as the city is a tremendous tennis town,” he said.
“It is important for me that the international players who visit India, who visit Hyderabad, visit your great state, have wonderful memories of the hospitality that India is so famous for,” said Amritraj.
Replying to a query, Amritraj said CTL is “India-centric and exclusive to India” as compared to the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), which has Asia in focus.
“I think first of all, let’s draw the differences, because, we are the only national tennis league. Champions Tennis League (CTL) is exclusive to India. We are doing it in six cities across India. My goal is eventually to take it to eight cities.
“The ideal format would be that we can play one match a day. But to have these double headers in two cities makes it little bit more challenging,” he said.
Stating that CTL is in “Indian interest”, Amritraj said, “It will do great things to Indian tennis. It is expected to help the development of junior tennis. It also has one Indian Davis Cup player in each team. Mahesh’s IPTL is useful for Asia.
“As far as we are concerned, it is meant to be entirely Indian. We have an Indian interest in it, for Indian Davis Cup players and we have the development of junior programme. So, it touches every chord as far as India is concerned,” he explained.