Novak Djokovic didn’t have much time to rest after winning the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour World Finals in London on November 16th. The world’s number one, along with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and the other best players in the world, are now in Manila playing in a glitzy, brand-new exhibition tournament, International Premier Tennis League.
The IPTL, which goes until December 13th, is a round-robin tournament across four cities, consisting of four teams: the Manila Mavericks, the Singapore Slammers, the Indian Aces, and the UAE Royals. The star players are distributed across the four teams—Murray and Sharapova are on the same side, for example.
Teams play five sets: a men’s singles, a women’s singles, a men’s doubles, a mixed doubles, and a legends match, featuring people like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Sets are won by being the first to six games, but rather than the set continuing if it’s a 5-5 tie, there’s instead a five-minute timed face-off to decide the set. It’s quick and efficient: speed tennis for a new generation with shorter attention spans. And lucrative: Investors include the former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar and there’s $1 million in prize money for the players, as well as undoubtedly some eye-watering appearance fees.