IPTL back even bigger in 2015

A mixture of current and former stars competing in a quick-fire team format has proved popular in Manila and Singapore, the first two venues so far.

Roger Federer will make his first appearance in New Delhi before the inaugural IPTL comes to a conclusion in Dubai next week.

Bhupathi, a former doubles player, is delighted with the league???s popularity and will be forced to reject some interested cities.

“We’re definitely going to add two cities next year,” he said. “We have a lot of interest now, we have about four cities ready to sign on the dotted line by the end of next month.

“We unfortunately can’t do all four, just for the sustainability of slow and steady growth, so we’ll take two and we’ll announce them probably when we announce our players in the week of February 14.

“In Manila last week, they haven’t seen world-class tennis ever and it was very heartening to see the fans receive the players.

“They were treated like The Beatles, especially Maria (Sharapova) and Andy (Murray).”

Big names such as Serena Williams have taken part in the league and Bhupathi believes they have forged a close bond with teammates.

“Serena (Williams) just came to me and said ‘I’m actually depressed because I have to leave this team and go home’,” he said.

“She wanted to see if she could continue in India, but we have visa issues.”