World number one Rafael Nadal is reportedly being offered 1.1 million dollars per night to play in three of the eight matches of the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), which has borrowed its format from the lucrative Twenty20 tournament Indian Premier League (IPL).
If all goes to plan, five teams - based in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur- will send their officials to India armed with minimum budgets of 4.4 million dollars each, to sign up a handful of players - men, women, and champions of yesteryear - for the off-season event, scheduled to take place in December.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Indian tennis star and ITPL's creator Mahesh Bhupathi may have offered the Spaniard 1.1 million dollars per night for three of the event's matches, adding that Nadal is understood to be the keenest member of the 'Big Four'- which also includes Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
However, the report said that Federer has never shown any interest in the project, while Djokovic and Murray are understood to be weighing up their options, adding that the players' agents are questioning the fact that firm details, whether about the ownership of the teams or the sale of TV rights, have been hard to come by.
Several top-ten players of both genders, including Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki have reportedly signed up already for the event.
According to the ground rules, 'marquee' players - those who have been world No.1 or won grand slams - are entitled to pick and choose their appearances, while others are in it for the three-week duration, the report added.
Agassi advises Murray to improve tennis instead of focusing on rankings
Meanwhile, American tennis legend Andre Agassi has advised Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to concentrate on improving his tennis instead of focusing on increasing his world rankings, in order to win more Grand Slams.
The British No.1 has slipped down to world No.7 since winning Wimbledon after undergoing back surgery.
According to the Mirror, Agassi, Murray's childhood idol, won eight Grand Slams after his Wimbledon win in 1992 although he needed over two years to win his next Major title, and the American admitted that it is a different mindset being a player who is expected to win versus a player who is an underdog.
However, Agassi said that eventually it does not matter if a player is a favourite or an underdog, adding that the only thing that is really important is improving one's focus in the game and making it more consistent.