Champions Tennis League: US Open champion Pennetta to play for Mumbai

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Mumbai, Sep 23: Italy's newly-crowned US Open women's singles champion Flavia Pennetta will play for Mumbai Masters at this year's Champions Tennis League along with 1996 Wimbledon men's champion Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands following the players' draft held here today.

The second edition of the CTL, the brainchild of former Indian Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj, is scheduled from November 23 to December 6, an increase of four days from last year's ten-day duration, Amritraj announced at a media conference after the players' draft.

Flavia Pennetta, of Italy, reacts as she poses with her US Open trophy

This year too the tournament would be held among six city-based franchises out of which five -Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and new entrants Raipur and Nagpur - have been identified.

The sixth, which is a toss-up among Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru, would be chosen within a week to 10 days, Amritraj said. The champions outfit would win Rs one crore and the runners-up Rs 50 lakh.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who beat Andy Murray of Briton in the US Open where he made the quarters, and the world's tallest player - Ivo Karlovic - of Croatia who holds a 3-1 career win-loss record against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, would play for new entrants Team Raipur and last year's participants Hyderabad Aces respectively.

Among other notable current men players who would play in the tournament to be held in six cities, including Mumbai where the inaugural match is scheduled on November 23, are Andreas Seppi of Italy (Mumbai), Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis (Punjab Marshalls, Chandigarh), along with French professionals Feliciano Lopez (Team Nagpur) and Fernando Verdasco (for the undecided team).

The top women professionals who would take part apart from Pennetta are five-time Grand Slam women's singles winner Martina Hinges of Switzerland (Hyderabad), a former world no. 1 and current doubles partner of India's Sania Mirza, Serb Jelena Jankovic (Nagpur), France's Alize Cornet (Raipur), Ukraine's Elina Svitolina (Chandigarh) and Heather Watson of Britain who would play for the sixth outfit in the League.

The teams and players

Punjab Marshalls, Chandigarh: Greg Rusedski (Legend, Australia), Marcos Baghdatis (ATP player, Cyprus), Elina Svitolina (WTA player, Ukraine), Saket Myneni (Indian player).

Hyderabad Aces: Thomas Johansson (Sweden), Ivo Karlovic (Croatia), Martina Hingis (Switzerland), Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (India).

Mumbai Masters: Richard Krajicek (The Netherlands), Andreas Seppi (Italy), Flavia Pennetta (Italy), Sriram Balaji (India).

Team Nagpur: Alex Corretja (Spain), Feliciano Lopez (Spain), Jelena Jankovic (Serbia), Divij Sharan (India).

Team Raipur: Thomas Muster (Austria), Kevin Anderson (South Africa), Alize Cornet (France), Ramkumar Ramanathan (India).

Undecided Team: Rainer Schuettler (Germany), Fernando Verdasco (Spain), Heather Watson (Britain), Vishnu Vardhan (India).


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