Federer and Williams withdraw from Indian leg of IPTL

Mahesh Bhupathi, who is the founder and managing director of the Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL), has confirmed that Roger Federer and Serena Williams will not feature in the Indian leg of the exhibition tournament.

The two stars were supposed to participate in the Indian leg of the tournament which runs from the ninth to 11th of December. However, they pulled out after citing concerns relating to the country’s cash crunch.

Last month the Indian government made the decision to withdraw high-denomination notes from circulation.

This so-called "demonetisation" scheme has caused major cash shortages across India, with big queues outside banks now commonplace after authorities placed a daily limit on withdrawals.

A brief statement on the IPTL website read: “We are sad to announce that Roger Federer and Serena Williams won’t participate at the IPTL this year.”

While Bhupathi added: "We have had challenges this year, and we were hoping to get past them.

“With the current economic climate in India and the uncertainty of spending money, I reached out to both Roger and Serena to explain the situation."

"They have both been very supportive of the IPTL the first two seasons and we look forward to bring them in future years."

The tournament would have marked Federer’s return to tennis after a lengthy absence due to knee problems.

However, it wasn’t to be and tennis will have to wait a little while longer to see the 35-year-old in action again.