New Delhi: Not only are tennis fans in India looking forward to seeing legend Roger Federer play in person, the man himself is 'beyond excited' to visit the country.
Federer, who is due to play in International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in December this year, posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter on Monday, “India, here I come. Looking forward to playing two matches in Delhi on December 7th and 8th. I’m beyond excited.”
India, here I come! Looking forward to playing two matches in Delhi on December 7th & 8th. I’m beyond excited!
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 22, 2014
The Swiss great replaced Rafael Nadal in the IPTL. The Spaniard pulled out due to injury.
Earlier, the brain behind IPTL, Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi had tweeted confirming the participation of the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) September 22, 2014
Bhupathi also told reporters that he was “glad Federer was available.” “Federer is a superstar and has charisma. That will create buzz,” he added at a press conference along with India team owner Rahul Sharma from Micromax,” PTI reported.
Federer joins American great Pete Sampras, former world number one Ana Ivanovic, Frenchman Gael Monfils along with India's Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in the Indian Aces. Fabrice Santoro is reserve player of the squad.
Russian superstar Maria Sharapova will also be now part of the league as she joins the Philippines team, which earlier had Victoria Azarenka.
Earlier, in a televised message, Federer had said, "Namaste India! I'm really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Micromax Indian Aces. My team tells me that there are a lot of tennis fans and my supporters in the region, so I hope you can come out and support me in December. See you there!"
The league will kick off on November 28 in Manila and conclude in Dubai on December 13.
The Delhi leg will be played from December 6-8 at Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium.
Eric Gottschalk, the chief operating officer of the IPTL, informed that the players initially have one-year contract with the league but the owners will also have choice to trade players from the second year onwards.
All participating teams - India, UAE, Singapore and Philippines - in the league will compete in five single-set matches to determine a winner. The order of play will be decided by the home team in host venue.
With PTI inputs