Dubai: Swiss icon and World No.2 Roger Federer on Thursday joined the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Royals franchise for the second edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) to be held from December 2-20.
The 17-time Major champion was part of the India Aces franchise in the inaugural edition of the tournament last year. The 34-year-old will be joined by the likes of 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, 2008 French Open women's singles winner and No.7 Ana Ivanovic, doubles veteran Daniel Nestor in the team.
The team was officially unveiled here. The UAE leg of the league will be held from December 14-16 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, a statement from the organisers said.
IPTL, a franchise-based tournament, is the brainchild of Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi. Indian cricket team's Test captain Virat Kohli is a co-owner of the UAE Royals.
"I am a huge fan of Roger Federer and with him joining the UAE Royals, my decision to be on board with the team was firm. The UAE Royals feature some of tennis’ greatest players and I am confident about the prospects of the team in the IPTL," Kohli said in the statement.
"I am also excited about the format of the IPTL, which I am sure will drive further interest in the game of tennis."
The tournament has expanded to five teams for its second edition and Bhupathi hoped the event will gain more popularity this year.
"UAE has tremendous tennis following and we are excited to be back in the country with the second edition of the IPTL. With Roger joining the UAE Royals, we are confident that tennis fans in the UAE will come out to support their team in great numbers," he said.