Kunal Thakur, co-founder of Tennis Premier League (TPL) with
Leander Paes, co-owner of the Mumbai Leon Army (R)
Kunal Thakur, co-founder of Tennis Premier League (TPL) with Leander Paes, co-owner of the Mumbai Leon Army (R)
FPJ Picture

Mumbai: It is just not a comeback but a return with enhanced vigour is what the tennis legend Leander Paes opins about season three of the Tennis Premier League (TPL) which is on the threshold of another homecoming, later this year.

I am super excited about the Tennis Premier League Season 3, simply because we are not just coming back after the pandemic, but we are coming back enhanced,” is how Paes, co-owner of the Mumbai Leon Army and a mentor of the event, opened up on the sidelines of the auction to pick players for the eight franchises that will make up the third season.

This event awaits with a bigger booty for the players, participation of India’s leading men’s and women’s tennis players and the involvement of foreign female players was the enhancement the tennis legend was referring to.

With most of the top players spending a majority of the year abroad, playing the circuit, it is very rare for the Indian tennis fan to get an opportunity to see the top players in action and this league TPL provides that platform,” said Paes.

This league besides providing a much-needed platform for our players to showcase their talent, also brings an entire community together, with the owners, celebrities, sponsors, mentors, coaches, and players, which is so important for a sport to grow,” added Paes.

The League is on the right track and a lot of credit should go to the founders Kunal Thakur and Mrinal Jain, who have worked tirelessly to put this entire show together, he stated.

With sport in the country being hit hard due to the pandemic, the TPL comes as a breath of fresh air and makes a bold statement that sport can overcome all adversities.

I am aware of the French Open, the Wimbledon, and also the Olympics. The three big ones soon and that’s what I will be focusing on, said the legend while adding, “I have always been a patriot and believe that the only best players should represent the country”.

Leander also said that he won’t be surprised if Nadal betters Federer’s record by winning the French Open, but he was quick to add that “my champion Djokovic would better all records.”

Paes was also full of praise for Karatsev, who had a dream run at the Australian Open. “He was training with quality players for the team championships before the Australian Open and was incredibly sharp at the Slam and to back that up with the performance in Dubai, was just incredible.”

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