Image Credit: Tennis Premier League

At the majestic Balewadi Stadium in Pune, the Tennis Premier League is set to start today. Actress Sonali Bendre, co-owner of the Pune Jaguars, and Leander Paes, co-owner of the Mumbai Leon Army, both attended the Tennis Premier League’s official opening ceremony.

For the first time since the league’s start, Pune will host the groundbreaking Tennis Premier League. The revolutionary tennis league’s fourth season will take place at the stunning Balewadi Stadium, which is a part of the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. There are four competition courts and one central court in the tennis stadium, which hosts the Tata Open Maharashtra and ATP 250 competitions every year and can accommodate 4200 spectators.

“We are going to get to witness some elite level of tennis, this is a testament to how revolutionary the league is especially for Indian tennis fans who will get to see some of the biggest stars of Indian and International tennis compete against each other.” Kunal Thakkur, Co-Founder of the Tennis Premier League.

The TPL was developed by Skygoal Sports Pvt Ltd in collaboration with AITA, MSLTA, and Leander Paes, an Olympic medalist. By popularising the league with its cutting-edge format and fostering the growth of top Indian tennis players, the competition has so far played a significant part in redefining tennis in India. Tennis legends Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, and Goran Ivanisevic, as well as Bollywood celebrities like Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonali Bendre, Divya Khosla Kumar, and Vishal Bhardwaj, have all joined the league and contributed to the development of tennis at the grassroots level.

Tennis Premier League Format and Schedule:

  • All eight teams will play four matches each to qualify for the semi-finals.
  • Each match features a total of 4 games including Men’s Singles, Mixed Doubles, Women’s Singles, and Men’s Doubles
  • Every match will have 80 points as each game in the schedule is worth 20 points.
  • The top four teams in the standings will advance to the semifinals.
  • In every match, one participant is limited to playing two games.

The first match of the Tennis Premier League will feature Delhi Binny’s Brigadeversus the Pune Jaguars, and the second match will feature Gujarat Panthers versus Mumbai Leon Army. The Bengaluru Spartans and Punjab Tigers, the newest TPL franchise, will square off in the third match, while the final match of Day 1 of the Tennis Premier League will pit Chennai Stallions against Finecab Hyderabad Strikers.

Tennis Premier League Teams

  • Mumbai Leon Army:
    Ramkumar Ramanathan, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Valeriya Strakhova
  • Delhi Binny’s Brigade:
    Matthew Ebden, Sowjanya Bacisetti, Siddhant Banthia
  • Plipuech Chennai Stallions:
    Illya Marchenko, Anastasia Gasanova Russia, Anirudh Chandrasekar
  • Bengaluru Spartans:
    Vishnu Vardhan India, Karman Kaur Thandi, Siddharth Rawat
  • Punjab Tigers:
    Malek Jaziri, Denis Istomin, Diana Marcinkevica
  • Rajasthan Tigers:
    Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Aryan Goveas, Diana Marcinkevica
  • Gujarat Panthers:
    Divij Sharan, Ankita Raina, Manish Sureshkum
  • Pune Jaguars:
    Arjun Kadhe Jeevan, Rujuta Bhosale, Vijay Sundar Prashanth
  • Hyderabad Strikers: Sriram Balaji, Conny Perrin Switzerland, Niki Poonacha

Indian Tennis superstar Ankita Raina is set for the Tennis Premier League

Ankita Raina will be seen competing for the Gujarat Panthers in the TPL, and the tennis star is thrilled to join the league because it will provide her the opportunity to compete against top teams and athletes from across the globe. She congratulated the TPL’s founders, Kunal Thakur and Mrunal Jain, shortly before the start of the competition for providing a significant platform for all Indian tennis players. Ankita claimed in an interview that tennis in India has advanced recently, with more competitions rising in the ranks, providing more opportunities for future players.

Regarding the TPL, Raina stated that it’s great to take part in such a league-based competition since it motivates the players and draws in large audiences, which inspires them to perform at their very best. Young players can gain exposure in franchise-based leagues, and Raina thinks that these leagues can also benefit the players financially. Overall, Raina had a successful year in doubles in 2022, and most recently, she participated in W25 Traralgon 18 A. There, she played doubles with Indonesian player P Nugroho but fell to Katherine Westbury and Destanee Aiava in the championship match.