World number one Rafael Nadal is reportedly being offered 1.1 million dollars per night to play in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), which has borrowed its format from IPL
London: World No.1 Rafael Nadal is expected to earn $1 million a night in the International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) to be held later this year. The tournament, modelled on the lines of cricket's Indian Premier League, is the brainchild of Indian tennis veteran Mahesh Bhupathi and its players' auction will take place in Dubai over the weekend.
The Telegraph has reported that Nadal is committed to play as a marquee player in the city-based ITPL scheduled from Nov 28 to Dec 20 across Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Rafael Nadal. Pic/AFP
The other top players who have shown in interest are reigning Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki.
If all goes to plan, five teams - based in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur- will send their officials to India armed with minimum budgets of 4.4 million dollars each, to sign up a handful of players - men, women, and champions of yesteryear - for the off-season event, scheduled to take place in December.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Indian tennis star and ITPL's creator Mahesh Bhupathi may have offered the Spaniard 1.1 million dollars per night for three of the event's matches, adding that Nadal is understood to be the keenest member of the 'Big Four'- which also includes Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
However, the report said that Federer has never shown any interest in the project, while Djokovic and Murray are understood to be weighing up their options, adding that the players' agents are questioning the fact that firm details, whether about the ownership of the teams or the sale of TV rights, have been hard to come by.
According to the ground rules, 'marquee' players - those who have been world No.1 or won grand slams - are entitled to pick and choose their appearances, while others are in it for the three-week duration, the report added.
The report quoted a tennis insider as saying: "Although the players are still sceptical, nobody wants to miss out on a possible money spinner, so a lot of them are putting their names down for Friday's reveal. When the money starts being paid into their accounts, that's when they will start believing that this concept is for real."