Game on for Agassi after S'pore IPTL dates re-jigged

Game on for Agassi after S'pore IPTL dates re-jigged
Tennis legend Andre Agassi
Tennis legend Andre Agassi pictured during an interview with The Straits Times in Las Vegas on 7 May 2014.

LAS VEGAS - Just weeks after casting doubt over participation in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), Andre Agassi said he would "absolutely" be in Singapore for the inaugural event.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion was drafted into the Singapore team alongside world No. 1 Serena Williams, Czech star Tomas Berdych and former top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt. But Agassi had suggested he would not play if it meant he had to miss the Nov 27 Thanksgiving holiday.

At the time, the Singapore leg was scheduled for Nov 28-30, to kick-start the off-season league with subsequent legs in Dubai, Bangkok and Mumbai.

With the opening leg now slated to take place in Bangkok on Nov 28-30, Singapore will host the second leg from Dec 2-4 and Agassi is committed to making a trip to the Republic.

"That's the game plan," the 44-year-old told The Straits Times yesterday in an interview organised by Swiss watchmaker Longines.

"It seems like it's all happening. I just can't make promises I can't control. What I can't control (is) if (the event) really exists or not. But if it's happening, I'm absolutely going to be there and I will spend time leading up (to the event) playing."

Doubts over the IPTL, started by Indian doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi, have continued even after a reported US$24 million (S$29.9 million) was spent in March drafting top stars including Rafael Nadal (Mumbai), Novak Djokovic (Dubai) and Andy Murray (Bangkok).

Among other question marks hanging over the series is whether the biggest names will be available for all four legs.

Agassi will play only in Singapore while it is understood that reigning Wimbledon champion Murray will play only in Bangkok.

All four teams will compete in each city. The round-robin format will be made up of a men's singles, a women's singles, a men's doubles, a mixed doubles and a legends singles set.

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