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Tennis: Dancing Federer hails new IPTL as ‘crazy but fun’

/ 06:25 AM December 08, 2014
Micromax Indian Aces player Roger Federer returns a shot of DBS Singapore Slammers's Tomas Berdych in the men's singles match,  during International Premier Tennis League, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.  AP

Micromax Indian Aces player Roger Federer returns a shot of DBS Singapore Slammers’s Tomas Berdych in the men’s singles match, during International Premier Tennis League, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. AP

NEW DELHI — World number two Roger Federer hailed the new International Premier Tennis League as “crazy but fun” after sauntering through his debut matches in the Indian capital on Sunday.

A laughing and joking Federer downed Czech world number seven Tomas Berdych in the new team competition’s third leg in New Delhi, where the Swiss veteran was playing for the first time.

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The normally composed and focused Federer was clearly enjoying himself during his three matches in front of Indian fans including Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and cricketing great Sunil Gavaskar.

After winning his doubles and mixed doubles matches with Indian teammates Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, Federer celebrated with a courtside dance, before teammate France’s Gael Monfils joined in.

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“It’s crazy but it’s good fun. I definitely think there’s a place for this,” Federer said, adding, “It’s competitive, it’s serious but it’s still light-hearted.”

Federer’s Indian Aces defeated the Singapore Slammers 26 points to 16 in the competition which has a quickfire format, including one-set matches hurried along by a 20-second serve clock.

Federer, who has never played in India before, said the experience “was big, it was loud, it was different.”

Federer said he was unsure how much extra tennis he would play next year, and would make a decision on his schedule after the Australian Open in January.

“I gotta be careful not to overplay, clearly. I gotta still decide on Davis Cup, what I’m going to do there,” the 33-year-old said courtside.

“But I’ll have a look after the Australian Open. That’s when I will decide how much I’m going to play next season,” said Federer, who holds a record 17 Gram Slam titles.

“I’m going to play a full schedule like normal but the question is how much more will I add or not.”

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Federer is expected to take on Novak Djokovic on Monday night in Delhi for his Indian Aces team before the competition moves on to the final leg in Dubai.

Originally posted: 10:50 PM | Sunday, December 7th, 2014

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