Mumbai: To cater to the growing popularity of tennis and to give a platform to the nation’s young talent, Tennis Premier League (TPL), announced its 2nd edition today. TPL will be held from December 12 to 15, 2019 at the Celebration Sports Club in Andheri, Mumbai. A total of 8 teams and 88 top players from the country, across categories, will battle it out for the coveted title in the 2nd edition of the Tennis Premier League (TPL).
While tennis start Leander Paes will have a stake in Mumbai Franchise, Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre will also own a franchisee. The teams in TPL will comprise men’s and women’s players, besides girl’s under-18, boys under-14 and Wheelchair participants
In order to give new talent a platform, the under-18 girls and under-14 boys players will be picked through talent hunts in four cities. Talent days will be held in Ahmedabad and Mumbai will be on October 20 and 23, while in Hyderabad and Delhi on November 3 and 10 respectively. The registrations for talent days will commence on August 5 and end on October 5.
Founded by Ex-National player Kunal Thakkur and actor/entrepreneur Mrunal Jain, this league was a huge success in the first edition with the support of prominent Bollywood actors and Sports personalities like Aishwarya Rai Bachan and Leander Paes. Paes will have a stake in the Mumbai franchise, while Sonali Bendre will also own a franchisee. Apart from the top players, Sonali is looking forward to seeing the young U-14 players in action and will also be lending a helping hand to the wheelchair players associated with the league.
With a total prize fund of 60 Lakhs, this event will see some of the leading male and female players of the country in action. Arjun Khade will lead the men’s field while Ankita Raina will be the top female player in the tournament. In order to make the tournament more inclusive and exciting the organisers have U-14 Boys, U-18 Girls and Wheelchair categories
The League is affiliated with All India Tennis Association (AITA) and will be conducted under the auspices of Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA).
When asked about this initiative Leander Paes said, “Tennis in India needs this push and to help the youngsters showcase their talent under the guidance and support of the mentors. I’m happy to be associated with TPL for the 2nd year and here’s wishing them all the best. Hoping this League helps bring a steady platform to tennis and promote the sport in our country.”
Speaking on the occasion, Kunal Thakkur said, “The response from the 1st edition was overwhelming and we got tremendous support and encouragement from the Bollywood and Sports fraternity. Our aim is to reach every house in India and make tennis as popular as cricket and other sport. We want to give our talented tennis players the same platform that cricketers are getting with IPL.”