Tuesday, May 26, 2015Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tennis: Schedule full, so Li Na skips new International Premier Tennis League

Published on Mar 3, 2014 6:32 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Australian Open champion Li Na on Monday defended her decision to skip the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), as she targets more Grand Slams and the world No. 1 spot.

The inaugural edition of the IPTL takes place later this year with matches in Bangkok, Mumbai, Singapore and Dubai, geared to raise the profile of the game across Asia and the Middle East.

But the event, modelled on cricket's financially successful Indian Premier League, has been dealt a blow by the absence of Asia's top male and female players - Japan's Kei Nishikori and second-ranked Li.

The current hottest property in women's tennis appears to have no room in her tightly-packed calendar for the IPTL, saying: "I've already put my schedule (together) at the end of last year. When I was doing it I didn't see any (IPTL) tournament... so that's why I didn't do (schedule) it."

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!