In its launch avatar, CTL will feature six city-based teams across India. CTL will see 13 matches played over a 10-day period from November 17 to 26.

Vijay Amritraj, former Indian tennis star and global ambassador of the sport, on Monday announced the launch of the Champions Tennis League (CTL) in India.

In its launch avatar, CTL will feature six city-based teams across India. CTL will see 13 matches played over a 10-day period from November 17 to 26.

The teams will be structured into two groups, each having three teams, where all teams play each other in a home and away format. The team with the highest number of games won in their respective group will play each other in the grand final to win a prize money of Rs. one crore. The runner-up will win Rs. 50 lakh.

 CTL teams will feature male and female players with international rankings between No. 5 and No. 25. Each of the six teams will also have an international legend as their playing captain, apart from a noted Indian male tennis player, plus a top-ranked junior Indian girl and boy from each city. The teams will also travel to other cities to play.

Long time coming

Speaking about CTL, Vijay Amritraj, Chairman and Managing Director of Second Serve Pvt. Ltd., the company behind CTL, said, “I have been discussing an initiative like this with the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for many years now. Finally, we have decided that together, we can bring a level of tennis entertainment that has never been seen in India before.”

Speaking about team owners and players, Vijay also said, “We are in final negotiations with interested parties in Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Chandigarh and are working hard to take forward discussions in Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune for our remaining two franchises.

“We would be very happy to have six franchise owners who love the sport and are ready to maximise the opportunities that the franchise gives them within their home city to make this a win-win partnership for everyone concerned. We will be announcing our confirmed players by August-September, along with our six franchise owners.”

When asked whether the CTL was started to counter Mahesh Bhupathi’s International Premier Tennis League (from Nov. 28 to Dec. 13), the former Davis Cup star replied, “On the other hand, it is complementary.

“Ours is an India-based league whereas his (Mahesh) is Asia-based. We are not targeting the top five like IPTL does. And I strongly feel India is ready for CTL.”

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