Agassi, Sampras haven't finalized IPTL commitment; Li explains absence
Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras say they are still working out the details of their participation in the new International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). The two were among the 'legends' players in the league draft which took place last week. Agassi was selected by Singapore and Sampras by Mumbai.
"My agreement to do it was based on a few very specific conditions," Agassi told Reuters. "Certainly economics played a little part in it but also time away played another part. I can’t be away for more than four or five days so I set some limitations and had some dates in December.
“Now I read in an email that the dates are over Thanksgiving. That would be a non-starter for me. Six or seven days away is too much of a price to pay."
Sampras told the news agency he had only recently committed to the league and was awaiting more information.
“It’s happened in the last 24 hours,” he said. “I’ve just been in talks with them and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s a big endeavor by the guys who are putting the whole thing together. It’s not an easy thing to do, though, and we’ll have to see how it all plays out in the next weeks."
Sampras added that he would have been unlikely to join during his playing days.
"It’s a long journey to Asia and I’m not sure how it would have played out for me,'' Sampras said. "That was my time off.”
Li Na, meanwhile, said she did not sign up because the league had not been organized until recently. As the top Asian player, Li would be a huge drawing card for the series.
"I already put my schedule at the end of last year," said Li ahead of a World Tennis Day exhibition in Hong Kong, adding, "When I was doing it I didn't see any [IPTL] tournament... so that's why I didn't do it."