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World No 1 Djokovic to lead Singapore Slammers

SINGAPORE — World No 1 Novak Djokovic will lead a revamped Singapore Slammers in the second edition of the International Premier Tennis League, which kicks off on Dec 2 in Japan and ends in Singapore on Dec 20.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning the Final Of The Gentlemen's Singles against Roger Federer of Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning the Final Of The Gentlemen's Singles against Roger Federer of Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — World No 1 Novak Djokovic will lead a revamped Singapore Slammers in the second edition of the International Premier Tennis League, which kicks off on Dec 2 in Japan and ends in Singapore on Dec 20.

Former world No 1 Carlos Moya of Spain, Swiss teen Belinda Bencic, women’s No 12 Karolína Plíšková of the Czech Republic, Brazilian Marcelo Melo and Australian Nick Kyrgios—the sole survivor of last year’s line-up—complete the line-up.

To complement the all-new look team, the Slammers also have new franchise owners, Singapore-based UD Trading Group Holding, who took over the team from a group of India-based investors.

Starting afresh, company chairman Prateek Gupta hopes under Djokovic the Slammers, who finished last in 2014, will have a better outing this time.

“He is one of the greatest players in the game and to have him represent Singapore is a rare honour. We hope all of Singapore will get behind him and the rest of the Slammers when they play on home soil come December. It’s time to ‘play differently’ and embrace a fresh and exciting tennis concept.”

But the company, he added, will not be involved in tennis only during the three-week season but are committed to promote and grow tennis in the Republic.

Added UB Trading managing director Thomas J McMahon: “That’s our long-time goal. We are not into the game for just the three days when the IPTL comes here in December, but 365 days a year.”

The second season of the IPTL will also see the addition of a Japanese team, the Japan Warriors, with the Indian Aces, UAE Royals and Philippine Mavericks completing the line-up.

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