By Niall Clarke

  • IPTL Preview
  • It is the second edition of the off season tournament
  • The IPTL is an alternate format of tennis

With the ATP and WTA tour done for 2015, it is time for the new and alternative team tennis as the International Premier Tennis League is back for its second season.

Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are amongst the big names competing in this end of season event, which was won last year by the Indian Aces.

That team was led by Federer and Pete Sampras.

The Teams

In this year’s edition there are five teams as follows:

Philippine Mavericks: Serena Williams, Milos Raonic, Richard Gasquet, Borna Coric, Sabine Lisicki, Mark Philippoussis, Treat Huey, Jarmila Gadjosova.

UAE Royals: Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Ana Ivanovic, Kristina Mladenovic, Goran Ivanisevic, Daniel Nestor

Indian Aces: Rafael Nadal, Agnieszka Radwanska, Gael Monfils, Ivan Dodig, Sania Mirza, Fabrice Santoro, Rohan Bopanna

Singapore Slammers: Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Belinda Bencic, Nick Kyrgios, Karolina Pliskova, Carlos Moya, Marcelo Melo, Dustin Brown.

Japan Warriors: Maria Sharapova, Kei Nishikori, Daniela Hantuchova, Vasek Pospisil, Kurumi Nara, Marat Safin, Leander Paes, Lucas Pouille.

Format

Stand back, because this might be a little confusing. The IPTL does conform to the rules of tennis, however the format has been tweaked to allow for a faster paced game.

League Format:

The teams compete in a customized round robin format of Matches in each host country. The top two teams at the end of the round robin stage qualify for the Finals. The winner of the Finals is declared the Champion for the IPTL season. (Credit IPTLworld.com)

The League standings are determined on the basis of the Win-Loss percentage of overall games won versus lost therefore making every game played count. The two teams with the best Win-Loss ratios qualify for the finals. (Credit IPTLworld.com)

In the result of a tie for second place the following criteria determines which team qualifies for the finals.

– Head to Head
– Largest winning margin
– Coin Toss

Set Format:

Five sets will be played, one set for each of the following categories.

Set one: Mens Singles
Set two: Womens singles
Set three: Mixed doubles
Set four: Womens doubles
Set five: Legends singles

The home team decides the order of play of the five Sets. A Coin Toss determines who picks the order of play in Matches where two neutral teams are competing.

Substitutions:

– Each team is allowed one substitution per set

– During a Set, a Doubles player can be substituted by another Doubles player, Singles player or a Legends player.

– During a Set, a Singles player can be substituted by another Singles player or a Doubles player.

– During a Set, a Legends player can be substituted by another Legends player only.

– In case a player is injured and there is no available substitution, the team loses the Set with the Winning Team receiving a total 6 points for that Set.

Scoring:

– There is no Ad scoring

– Each set is first to six games

– If there is a tie at 5-5 a 13 point tiebreaker is played with the first to seven points winning the set.

– Every game won counts as a point to their team

– If both teams are tied on games after five sets a Super tiebreaker of 19 points is played. The first to ten wins the match

– A receiving player can call the Coca Cola Powerpoint to indicate the next point counts as double. Each team can call the powerpoint only once per set.

– The final Set of each Match is played until the team with the highest overall score wins the final game. However, if the second-placed team wins the fifth Set and is still behind in the total number of games won, the Set continues until that team wins enough games to tie the overall games score, or the leading team wins one more game. If the overall game score gets tied, then a Super Shoot-Out is played.

The Clock:

– A player is allowed a maximum of 20 seconds between points

– There is 45 seconds between changer overs

– There is a three minute break after each set

– A team can call a coach’s time out once per set where they are allowed 60 seconds with their coach.

– A player can call for an Injury Time-Out at any time during a Match. The assessment time for the Injury is 2 minutes followed by a treatment time of a maximum of 3 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, if the player is unable to continue, the team forfeits the Set.

If any of the players go over the allotted times then a point is rewarded to the opposing team.

Schedule

The first round of matches will take place at the home of the Japan Warriors in the Kobe world hall between December 2nd and 4th.

The second round of matches’ will take place in Manila on December the 6th to the 8th.

The third round will be played in Delhi between the 10th and 12th.

Then the fourth round will take place in Dubai between the 14th and 16th of December, before concluding in Singapore between the 18th and 20th.

The final will take place in Singapore on the 20th of December.

The IPTL Starts on Wednesday the 2nd at 7AM with the Singapore Slammers playing the UAE Royals.

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