Sumit Nagal Becomes Priciest Player in Tennis Premier League Season 5 Auction
Sumit Nagal becomes the costliest player in Tennis Premier League Season 5 auction, with franchises assembling strong rosters for the upcoming season.
As preparations for the fifth season of the Tennis Premier League (TPL) got underway, eight franchises completed their rosters with a blend of international talent and Indian players at the auction.
Sumit Nagal, India’s current All-India Tennis Association (AITA) No. 1 men’s singles player, emerged as the marquee player for Season 5 and was the highest-priced selection at the auction. Despite strong competition from other franchises for India’s star tennis player, Ramku Patgir-owned Gujarat Panthers secured him for Rs 18.5 lakh, thanks to strategic bidding by the Panthers’ celebrity ambassador, Arjun Kapoor. Additionally, the Gujarat Panthers also acquired Karman Kaur Thandi for Rs 8.5 lakh, a player with three ITF singles titles to her name, and Mukund Sasikumar, an up-and-coming Indian player.
Defending champions Hyderabad Strikers, backed by Rakul Preet Singh, displayed a shrewd approach during the auction. The most expensive addition to the ENN Sport-owned franchise was Ellen Perez at Rs 14 lakh. Perez has an impressive track record, including five doubles titles on the WTA Tour, two doubles titles on the WTA Challenger Tour, and numerous singles and doubles titles on the ITF Circuit. The Strikers managed to retain Nikki Poonacha, who played a crucial role in their previous season’s success. They completed their roster with the inclusion of Saketh Myneni, a recipient of the Arjuna Award and a Davis Cup representative for India.
The Bengaluru SG Mavericks, led by Indian tennis icon Sania Mirza, efficiently completed their Season 5 roster. They secured Arina Rodionova for Rs 17.1 lakh, making her the highest-priced female player at the auction. Ramkumar Ramanathan was another valuable addition at Rs 8.6 lakh. Bengaluru finalized their roster with the addition of Vishnu Vardhan, known for his adaptability in the fast-paced TPL format.
Sania Mirza commented on the Bengaluru SG Mavericks’ composition, expressing confidence in their balanced squad.
The Pune Jaguars, led by Sonali Bendre and owned by Punit Balan, made wise decisions during the auction. They acquired Lukas Rosol and Indian tennis star Rutuja Bhosale. Manish Sureshkumar completed the Pune Jaguars’ lineup.
Delhi Binny’s Brigade, with ambassador Malaika Arora and owner Sneh Patel, assembled an elite roster for Season 5. They secured Dennis Novak, the Austrian No. 1 in men’s singles, and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, a player with a career-high ranking of No. 64. Vaidehi Chaudhari completed their squad.
Punjab Tigers, owned by Raminder Singh and supported by Taapsee Pannu, shifted their focus to Indian talent. They picked international star Conny Perrin alongside Indian talents Arjun Khade and Digvijay Pratap Singh.
Mumbai Leon Army, owned by Shyam Patel and backed by Sonu Sood, secured Latvian professional tennis player Ernest Gulbis as their most expensive pick at Rs 14 lakh. They also added Sowjanya Bavisetti and Vijay Sundar Prashanth to their roster.
The newest team, Bengal Wizards, owned by Yatin Gupte and backed by Leander Paes, secured the services of Maria Timofeeva for ₹15.5 lakh, an emerging Russian talent. They also acquired Sriram Balaji and Anirudh Chandrasekar.
Leander Paes, Brand Ambassador of Bengal Wizards, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s composition.
The Tennis Premier League Season 5 will take place at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune from December 12 to December 17, 2023, in association with the All-India Tennis Association (AITA) and Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA).