When a tennis player retires, the adrenaline goes away. Some of them need years away from the tour, find time for themselves, a time where there are no planes, no hotels, and no different countries every single week. Then, something magic happens. They need to come back again. Some of them as coaches, others as agents, others as tournament directors. But their essence is still the same: they are tennis players. They evolve, but the spirit remains.
The Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League gives the Legends a unique opportunity to be part of that world again, showing their old tricks on court and proving that the spirit is still there. They also get to witness the newest additions to the tour, the characters expected to rule the future.
And if any of this wasn't enough, they have the chance to be in a very unique format. A team with different cultures, personalities, and style. An intensive experience that will give them the adrenaline rush they are craving.
But why do the legends love the IPTL format? Here are some reasons:
Mark Philippoussis (Indian Aces)
“I enjoy it. Tennis is a beautiful sport, great one, but most of the time you feel very lonely. I love playing in a team environment. This is a very unique format, with great energy, with teams that are like families. It’s tough playing but it’s tougher being on the bench. You want to do well for the team and also be there for them in case they need a bottle of water, a towel, or just some advice. Even getting crazy helps to give them more energy.”
Goran Ivanisevic (UAE Royals)
“I love my team, it would be extremely weird to change sides and that means I love it. The format is a great idea, very quick one. People are very pumped and want to win. Because I am a coach, I am used to hit with Tomas for instance. But practice and a match are two completely different things. When you go out there you really want to perform well but the next day everything hurts, you are tighter than years ago.”
Marat Safin (Japan Warriors)
“How we play at the IPTL makes the format very interesting, very cool. For the spectators it can be quite confusing at the beginning but then they have the chance to see a very different sort of players and style in just a couple of hours' time. I retired six years ago and back then I was really tired of matches but now I'm starting to feel that I want to play again. The format makes it even better; it’s a perfect way of getting back.”
Rainer Schuettler (OUE Singapore Slammers)
“It’s a very exciting format. In every single point, you have to be there. Either if you are playing or on the bench throwing the disc. You can’t ever relax and that’s what makes it even more enjoyable. It’s always very entertaining and that makes it so special for the fans.”