Eager to play in the upcoming Champions Tennis League (CTL), starting on Monday, veteran Indian star Leander Paes today said that the new league has integrated the international and national players well.
“I think Vijay (Amritraj) has done a great job in the CTL format. CTL goes from city to city and all over the country and also integrates Indian players and Western players of very high level,” Paes told reporters here.
“He has got all the Davis Cup players, the Fed Cup players and got the greats playing. You have got (Marin) Cilic who won the US Open, Pat Cash, (Martina) Navratilova, (Martina) Hingis, Tommy Robredo, (Mikhail) Youzhny. I think Vijay’s league has integrated nicely the international and Indian players coming together,” the 41-year-old said at the sidelines of the Premier Tennis League event, which was earlier known as Maharashtra Tennis League.
A part of the Punjab Masters franchise, Paes said he was looking forward to the league. “I am excited to play for Punjab Masters. I will leave for Delhi tomorrow (where the opening tie between Delhi and Punjab is scheduled on Nov 17). I start playing on Monday night so really looking forward to that.
“Vijay is a good man. He has done some great things for tennis over the years. I grew up in his tennis academy and now to play the league with him and support that league is something I really look forward to,” said Paes.
With the Mahesh Bhupathi-led International Tennis Premier League (IPTL) also in the fray, asked about the feasibility of these leagues, Paes said, “Whether you have three leagues in one sport or whether you have 30 leagues in 30 sports, the sustenance of it is important. To sustain that quality is very important.
“Anybody can start something for the first time but to make sure that the levels stay the same and then improves, is what is important,” he explained.