While the country is gripped by sorrow owing to the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at 11:30 pm IST on Monday, yet another grim news came across tennis and general sports fans of India on Tuesday morning. Mahesh Bhupathi, founder of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), has announced that Roger Federer and Serena Williams, veterans of tennis world, are not participating in the IPTL 2016.
Federer was a part of Indian Aces, while Serena was a part of Singapore Slammers in the tennis tournament. The reason for their withdrawal has been the demonetisation row that has engulfed the nation, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision around a month back to execute immediate steps to curb down on black money and corruption.
While normal people are definitely affected owing to the long-term plan, the tennis legends too are apparently facing the brunt of it. Doesn't come as a surprise though as plenty of foreigners travelling in India have also been hit hard after the declaration of the existing 500 and 1000 INR notes as illegal tenders!
The first leg of IPTL 2016 concluded in Tokyo, while the second leg is currently under way in Singapore. The third and final leg of the tennis tournament is scheduled to take place at Hyderabad from December 9-11.
Swiss tennis legend Federer, 35, last played at the Wimbledon 2016 in July, before announcing his withdrawal from the sport for the rest of the season owing to a knee injury. Serena, too, was struck by an injury after the US Open 2016. Federer was very much a part of the IPTL 2016 and his comeback could have taken place at the tournament, with tennis fans in India getting a close view of him in Hyderabad.
However, we'll have to wait for yet another year to see him at the IPTL.
Dear fans, we're sorry for this turn of events. We will soon give out information on upgrades & refunds.— IPTL (@iptl) December 6, 2016