Roger Federer joins Indian Aces as Rafa Nadal withdraws from IPTL

Rafael Nadal was slated to play with the India-based team, along with the likes of Pete Sampras, Ana Ivanovic and Gael Monfils, but withdrew on Monday.

Roger Federer reached the semi-finals at the 2014 US Open. Chris Trotman / Getty Images / AFP
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The Indian Aces, the New Delhi based International Premier Tennis League franchise, announced on Monday they would be led by Roger Federer.

Federer will effectively replace Rafael Nadal, who had earlier on Monday announced his withdrawal from the IPTL citing health concerns, as the marquee player for the India franchise.

Federer’s announced teammates with the Indian Aces include Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, Rohan Bopanna, Fabrice Santoro, Sania Mirza and Ana Ivanovic.

According to a press release announcing the move, Federer said in a televised address: “I’m really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Indian Aces. My team tells me there are a lot of tennis fans and my supporters in the region.”

Veteran Indian player Mahesh Bhupathi, a founder of the IPTL, also said in the release: “As a tennis fan, I am excited to see Roger and Pete play for the same team, it’s unprecedented.

“I believe the time for innovation in tennis has come.”

Bhupathi had posted on Twitter earlier in the day that Nadal had withdrawn.

The IPTL later confirmed that the 28-year-old Spaniard wouldn’t be playing in the tournament.

“I am very dissapointed disappointed to announce that I will not be part of the first edition of the IPTL,” said Nadal in the same release.

“I was looking forward to representing Indian Aces and playing in front of fans in New Delhi.

“I wish the team the very best and hope to be back next year.”

Nadal withdrew from the US Open last month, citing a right wrist problem, and was unable to defend his title. He also recently missed Spain’s Davis Cup loss to Brazil.

The IPTL, a city-based team competition, is to be staged at venues in the UAE, Philippines, Singapore and India between November 28 and December 13.

The Dubai Royals have previously confirmed the likes of Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet, Caroline Wozniacki and Eugenie Bouchard for their team.

Additionally, players like Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych (Singapore) and Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Maria Sharapova (Manila) are slated to be involved.

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