INTERNATIONAL Premier Tennis League (IPTL) Managing Director Mahesh Bhupathi said that Filipino tennis players could excel in international tennis competitions just like tennis superstars Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer.
Bhupathi, a former Indian professional tennis player and founder of the IPTL, said that the three-day IPTL competition in Manila on November 28 to 30 would inspire a lot of young Filipino tennis players to work harder to achieve international glory in the sport.
“Because of this tournament, I believe there will be a lot of Filipino tennis players who will strive hard to play the game,” Bhupathi told The Manila Times on Friday in an interview. “But I will tell you it requires millions of hard work to achieve success in international tennis.”
“Murray and Sharapova trained and played hard during their early years and even now,” Bhupati stressed.
Bhupathi praised Filipino-American Treat Huey, who will play in the doubles even for being a hard worker. “Huey is one of the best doubles players that I’ve seen. He doesn’t want to give up. He is a true hard worker. I’m expecting more Filipino players will shine in the next few years,” he said.
Sharapova, Murray, Huey and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga will play for the Manila Mavericks in the IPTL competition on November 28 to 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City in a round-robin format consisting of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and legends singles.
Serena Williams will headline the Singapore Slammers while Ana Ivanovic will lead the India team.
Bhupathi also assured Filipino tennis fans that they are going to bring more tennis superstars in years to come in Manila like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“We made sure that the team owners have sustainable power to run this event for many years,” he added. “Everyone knows that in the first year, there will be more obstacles.”
“It’s a challenging part for us. Once we get past them, hopefully, we could bring someone like a Djokovic or a Nadal to Manila next year. It will just get bigger and bigger.”
IPTL will also hold games in Singapore, India, and Dubai after the Manila leg.