After Sunday’s auction in Dubai, the legendary tennis stars will be part of Potluri Prasad’s Mumbai team in the high-profile International Premier Tennis League

HYDERABAD: Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Ana Ivanovic, Fabrice Santoro, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza. Some of the biggest names in tennis went under the hammer on Sunday, at the auction of the high-profile International Premier Tennis League in Dubai, and a Mumbai team, owned by a duo from the State, has bagged the aforesaid names.

What’s more, Potluri V. Prasad, managing director of PVP Ventures, and former Andhra Ranji captain V. Chamundeswaranath could well get these stars to play in Hyderabad.

“If everything goes well, then we will have the matches at the makeshift tennis courts in the Gachibowli indoor stadium,” said Mr. Chamundeswaranath. Mr. Prasad is the main owner of the team, he said, adding that though they own a Mumbai team, they have specifically asked for an opportunity to bring IPTL to the city for a day.

“Why not? We have India’s best ever women’s tennis player in our line-up – Sania Mirza – and she is from Hyderabad. We will love to explore every possible opportunity to cash in on her popularity,” he told The Hindu.

Sania’s father Imran Mirza, who set up the world-class tennis Sania Mirza Tennis Academy near the city, has been told by the All-India Tennis Association that his centre would be a major hub for tennis in the days to come.

“Even Nadal should be pleased with the facilities in the Sania Academy. That is why we are really optimistic of pulling some matches to Hyderabad,” the former cricketer pointed out.

Five teams from Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur took part in the players’ auction, with a minimum budget of $ 4.4 million each. Mumbai happens to be the only franchisee in the League.

“Well, PVP Prasad has already shown his passion for the sport in a big way by buying Hyderabad Hotshots, which won the inaugural edition of the Indian Badminton League. He wants to give back something to tennis too,” the former Andhra Ranji captain said to a query.

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