Tennis: All you need to know about the International Premier Tennis League

SINGAPORE - The International Premier Tennis League makes its Singapore debut on Dec 2. It is the first time that tennis will be played in such a format, with the game's stars, past and present, representing teams.

The brainchild of India's doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi, the four-team tournament started in Manila over the weekend and will make pitstops in Singapore (Dec 2-4), India (Dec 6-8) and the United Arab Emirates (Dec 11-13).

Here's a quick guide to all you need to know about the League.

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Teams:

DBS Singapore Slammers: Headlined by world No. 1 women's tennis player Serena Williams and former world No. 1 and eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi.

Micromax Indian Aces: Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, former world No. 1 Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils and Ana Ivanovic

Manila Mavericks: Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Musafir.com UAE Royals: Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Caroline Wozniacki

*Players do not necessarily play all the legs of the league. For instance, Federer, Sampras, Murray, and Djokovic are not playing at the Singapore stop.

Players signed up are placed into various categories. Teams then bid for the players they want on their side through an auction, based on a salary cap of US$10 million (S$12.5 million) per team per season.

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Format:

- Each tie between two teams will feature five matches: men’s singles, women’s singles, mixed doubles, men’s doubles and men’s legends singles

- Each match lasts just one set, with the winner the first to reach six games.

- There will be a five-minute shoot-out if the score gets to 5-5

- No advantage scoring

- Each game counts as one point for the team. The side that accumulates more points after five matches wins the tie. The winning team gets four points, while the losing team gets either two, one or no points depending on the number of games won.

- Team with the most points at the end of the four-leg circuit wins the league and US$1 million in prize money.

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Innovations:

- Shot clock: Players have 20 seconds between points and shoot-outs; 45 seconds during changeovers and 60 seconds for coaches’ time-outs.

- Time-out: Coaches can call for time-outs at any time once during each set.

- Power Point: A receiving player can call for the next point to count for double.

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Singapore schedule (all matches at the Singapore Indoor Stadium):

Dec 2

4.00pm: Micromax Indian Aces vs Musafir.com UAE Royals7.30pm: DBS Singapore Slammers vs Manila Mavericks

Dec 3

4.00pm: Manila Mavericks vs Musafir.com UAE Royals7.30pm: DBS Singapore Slammers vs Micromax Indian Aces

Dec 4

4.00pm: Manila Mavericks vs Micromax Indian Aces7.30pm: DBS Singapore Slammers vs Musafir.com UAE Royals

*Order of play will be decided before the tie

Tickets: Available at www.sportshubtix.sg and Indoor Stadium box office. One-day passes: $49 to $280. Three-day season tickets: From $128.

Prices exclude $4 booking fee.