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US Open champion Cilic joins UAE Royals in Bhupathi's tennis league

October 19, 2014 15:10 IST
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Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates after winning the US Open. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Reigning US Open champion and World No. 9 Marin Cilic will represent the UAE Royals, the Dubai based franchise in the inaugural edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Together with World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Cilic will lead the UAE Royals amongst the world's finest players from the ATP and WTA rankings, said a media release from the organisers on Sunday.

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Cilic will travel to the IPTL's match destinations in the Philippines, Singapore and India before finally playing out to a packed stadium at Dubai's Hamdan Sports Complex from December 11 to 13.

As of now, the UAE Royals comprise Djokovic, Cilic, Canadian tennis sensation and current World No.6 Eugenie Bouchard, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, the legendary Goran Ivanisevic, who is also Cilic's coach, doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic, and Arab's No.1 player Malek Jaziri.

Commenting on his entry into the UAE Royals squad, Cilic said: "The International Premier Tennis League presents an exciting platform for tennis players to enjoy the sport in a brand new way and I am thrilled to be part of the inaugural edition. The UAE Royals are a power-packed squad and I look forward to playing for the team in front of fans in Dubai and other cities."

Sawan Ravani, co-owner of UAE Royals, said: "We are honoured and thrilled to have Marin Cilic, who is currently storming the Kremlin Cup in Russia, join the UAE Royals team. A super energetic player who has climbed the ATP rankings steadily, Cilic will add his own brilliance to a team that already boasts legends such as World No 1 Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic among its male players. Ivanisevic, incidentally, discovered and mentored Cilic, so their relationship brings a special chemistry into our team."

At a career-high No.9, Cilic captured his first Grand Slam title at the US Open this year, also becoming the first Croatian to claim a major crown since Ivanisevic at the 2001 Wimbledon.

This has been a landmark year for the Croat, who has taken the tennis world by storm and is hoping to maintain his top form in the coming months.

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