Roger Federer will play Rafael Nadal in Delhi on December 12 in the main event of the second season of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
The tennis icons, who have 31 Grand Slam titles between them, join the likes of Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Sania Mirza in the five-team franchise event.
Spanish star Nadal didn’t enter last year because of injury, but now takes his place in defending champions Indian Aces’ squad alongside national doubles queen Mirza.
Swiss champ Federer, part of the Aces’ line-up last season, will now link up with the UAE Royals, giving his clash with Nadal at the Indira Gandhi National Stadium that extra edge.
The last time the rivals met was at the 2014 Australian Open semi-final. Nadal won in straight sets.
Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic has signed up for the Singapore Slammers, while women’s great Williams will represent Philippine Mavericks.
There is also a new team in 2015 with the introduction of the Japan Warriors, which features Kei Nishikori, Maria Sharapova and Leander Paes. They will host the first leg of the event from December 2 to 4.
“Season one of IPTL brought some of the world’s biggest tennis stars to cities in Asia for the very first time in an exciting new format. The reception shown by fans was a revelation. This year the event will be bigger,” ITPL founder and doubles legend Mahesh Bhupathi said.
“We have added a big market in Japan and with both Nadal and Nishikori playing, fans will be in for a thrilling three weeks. Indian sports lovers have a lot to look forward to in Delhi from the December 10 to 12.”
Aces owner Gulshan Jhurani added: “The Indian Aces will fight hard to retain the title, and with Nadal leading the side, we are confident. The team has an effective blend of power hitters, players with guile and finesse, and some effective doubles combinations.”
India Aces: Rafael Nadal, Gael Monfils, Agnieszka Radwanska, Fabrice Santoro, Ivan Dodig, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.
Japan Warriors: Kei Nishikori, Kurumi Nara, Vasek Pospisil, Leander Paes, Daniela Hantuchova, Lucas Pouille, Maria Sharapova and Marat Safin.
Philippine Mavericks: Serena Williams, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mark Philippoussis, Richard Gasquet, Treat Huey, Jarmila Gajdosova, Bo-rna Coric and Sabine Lisicki.
Singapore Slammers: Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Marcelo Melo, Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova and Carlos Moya.
UAE Royals: Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic, Ana Ivanovic, Marin Cilic, Daniel Nestor, Kristina Mladenovic and Tomas Berdych.