The Indian Aces were victorious in Dubai as they were crowned International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) champions. The WTA signed a mega media deal.
Aces Win In Dubai
The Indian Aces are the inaugural IPTL champions, despite their final day loss to the UAE Royals. The Delhi-based team won the title on Friday after beating the Manila Mavericks 28-13. The Aces easily won the first 4 sets but were forces to endure a tense super shoot-out in the final one to clinch the title.
Their nearest challengers, the Royals, needed to beat the Singapore Slammers Friday afternoon to keep their hopes alive. However, they were unable to do it as Tomas Berdych defeated Novak Djokovic in a dramatic final set. Their match ended level at 5-all, forcing a 5 minute shoot-out which was level as the clock ran down. Next point would win the match and it was Berdych that stepped up – earning his team a 23-21 win.
Aces member, Ana Ivanovic, said, “We had many funny moments, lots of good energy in the team and we are thrilled to be champions of the very first IPTL today.” The Aces received $1 million for their victory.
Tournament founder, Mahesh Bhupathi, also revealed that he would like to double the number of participating teams by 2020.
Monster Media Deal for WTA
The WTA signed the biggest media deal in women’s sport. They say it will be worth more than $525 million over 10 seasons (2017-2027), with plans to produce all 2,000 or so singles matches on the women’s tour each year. The WTA’s international television rights are still with its current distributor, PERFORM, but the scope of their relationship has been significantly expanded. Stacey Allaster, CEO and Chairperson of the WTA, called the deal, “a game-changer” and it will give fans more access to players.
The tour and PERFORM will also set up WTA Media, which will produce main draw matches in singles, as well as the semi-finals and finals in doubles at every tournament. Web content and magazine shows for tv will also be produced.
Prize Money Increase in ATP
The ATP has announced significant prize money increases over the next 4 years. Player compensation will reach $135 million by 2018. The biggest increases are at the Masters 1000 events, “with tournaments providing annual increases of 11% and with the ATP contributing a further 3% increase.” 250 and 500 events will also see a rise in prize money.
However, the lower tier tours, such as the Challenger and Futures, have not benefited from this generosity.
More Coaching Changes
After only a few days, Madison Keys and Wim Fissette have parted ways. The news was revealed by tennis journalist, Ben Rothenberg, on Twitter last week. Keys is still working with Lindsay Davenport and her husband Jon Leach. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eugenie Bouchard hired Fissette in the near future.
John Isner has hired Justin Gimelstob as his coach for the 2015 season.
“I am really excited to start working with Justin. He has so much experience within the tennis business.”
The American is currently in training in Tampa. His first tournament of the new season will be the Auckland Open, where he is the defending champion.
Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena.