Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer has reportedly joined women stars Maria Sharapova and Li Na in opting out of the planned International Tennis Premier League (ITPL), which has been modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League (PL).
However, world number one Rafael Nadal, Serb Novak Djokovic and former stars Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi have expressed their willingness to take part in the inaugural event of the tournament, which is the brainchild of Indian player Mahesh Bhupathi.
According to Sport24, the 17-time Grand Slam champion, Sharapova and Australian Open champion Li Na have all declined invitations, and the Swiss had previously expressed his doubts regarding the success of the tournament and whether it would actually take off.
However, the report mentioned that Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray are listed as 'Icon Players' along with Stanislas Wawrinka, Agassi and Sampras, as well as women's world number one Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.
The players, put into different categories according to their status and market values, will go up for auction, with the five venues- expected to be Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur- competing against each other to bring the players to their city.
A handful of doubles players will also feature in the draft for the tournament, which is likely to be staged in the traditional off-season between late November and late December, the report added.