Mumbai: On November 8, as and when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, set free decisive particles of ‘demonetisation’ to hit the masses, it spurred an ‘earthquake’ onto citizen’s cognizance. As the effect of ‘aftershocks’, popped in another aftermath on Tuesday, advancing from the sphere of tennis. The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), which is already confronting lack of stardom this season, is now dragged into a more vulnerable situation with the withdrawal of prominent tennis stars like Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
Both have pulled out of the tournament. The decision came as an aftermath of demonetization which has disturbed the economic scenario in India leaving, IPTL founder and Managing Director, Mahesh Bhuapthi, with no option but to cut down on the IPTL’s star power this season.
“We have had challenges this year, and we were hoping to get past them. With the current economic climate in India and the uncertainty of spending money, I reached out to both Roger and Serena to explain the situation. They have been both been very supportive of the IPTL in the first two seasons and we look forward to bring them in the future,” he was quoted in the media.
This year wasn’t so generous with IPTL though, as it had to reduce its originally intended format of five cities to three. Moreover, with no show of hotshot players Federer and Serena, the ticket sales in Hyderabad will face serious setbacks.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer, was expected to be part of the Indian Aces while Serena was named in the Singapore Slammers squad.
The third season of the IPTL 2016 got under way on December 2, in Japan and after a stint in Singapore, the third and final leg will be held in Hyderabad between December 9-11. One hopes there’s no more withdrawal as it will ultimately affect the brand value of the tournament.