Last year, watching Roger Federer play for the Indian Aces was one of the highlights for Indian tennis fans, and in 2015, there will be another legend leading out the Indian Aces in the International Premier Tennis League, with Rafael Nadal confirming his participation in the franchise-based team event.
The IPTL was pretty successful last year, with all the players seemingly enjoying themselves on the court as the team ethic took precedence over individual results, something the biggest players in the world are not too used to.
IPTL 2015 will start on 2 December and go on till 20th December, with a fifth franchise added to the league in Japan Warriors. The other four teams are the Indian Aces, UAE Royals, Philippine Mavericks and Singapore Slammers. The India leg of the IPTL will be held between 10-12 December.
"Season one of IPTL brought some of the world's biggest tennis stars to cities in Asia for the very first time in an exciting new format," IPTL founder and managing director Mahesh Bhupathi said in a release.
"The reception shown by fans was a revelation. This year the event will be bigger. We have added a big market in Japan and with both Nadal and [Kei] Nishikori playing, fans will be in for a thrilling three weeks. Indian sports lovers have a lot to look forward to in Delhi from the 10th to 12th of December."
The marquee clash of the India leg of the IPTL will be the one between Nadal's Indian Aces and the UAE Royals, where Federer will take centre-stage.
Having led the Indian Aces to the title last year, Federer will now look to shine for his new side, not, of course, if his great rival and friend Nadal has to say something about it. Nadal will be joined in the Indian Aces team by Gael Monfils, Agnieszka Radwanska, Fabrice Santoro, Rohan Bopanna and the current Wimbledon women's doubles champion Sania Mirza (surely, they should have found a place for Martina Hingis as well, shouldn't they).
"The Indian Aces will fight hard to retain the title in the second edition of the IPTL and with Nadal leading the side, we are poised to do well," Gulshan Jhurani, co-owner of the Indian Aces, said.
"The team has an effective blend of power hitters, players with guile and finesse and some very effective doubles combinations. With such a terrific combination of tennis players, we are confident of retaining the IPTL crown."
Other superstars in the IPTL include Serena Williams, who will play for the Philippine Mavericks, while world number one in the men's singles – Novak Djokovic – will look to bring the title to the Singapore Slammers.
Squads and lineups for IPTL 2015: India Aces: Rafael Nadal, Gael Monfils, Agnieszka Radwanska, Fabrice Santoro, Ivan Dodig, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna.
Japan Warriors: Kei Nishikori, Kurumi Nara, Vasek Pospisil, Leander Paes, Daniela Hantuchova, Lucas Pouille, Maria Sharapova, Marat Safin.
Philippine Mavericks: Serena Williams, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Sabine Lisicki, Mark Philippoussis, Richard Gasquet, Treat Huey, Jarmila Gajdosova, Borna Coric,.
Singapore Slammers: Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Marcelo Melo, Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova, Carlos Moya
UAE Royals: Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych Goran Ivanisevic, Ana Ivanovic, Marin Cilic, Daniel Nestor, Kristina Mladenovic.