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Roger Federer and Serena Williams to skip IPTL 2016

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The current cash crunch in India, following the November 8 demonetisation has led to multiple Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams pulling out of this season's International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), the organisers announced on Tuesday.

Both Federer and Serena were scheduled to play the final leg of the $100,000 tournament in Hyderabad from December 9 to 11. The Swiss star was to play for the Indian Aces while Williams was signed by the Singapore Slammers.

"We are sad to announce that Roger Federer and Serena Williams won't participate at this year's IPTL," founder and managing director of IPTL, Mahesh Bhupathi, said in a statement.

"We have had challenges this year, and we were hoping to get past them. With the current economic climate in India and the uncertainty of spending money, I reached out to both Roger and Serena to explain the situation. They have both been very supportive of the IPTL the first two seasons and we look forward to bring them in future years."

The IPTL could have been Federer's comeback tournament ahead of the Australian Open early next year. He has been out since July following a knee surgery.

Williams, on the other hand, last played at the US Open in September, following which she has stayed away from the circuit with a shoulder injury. She was scheduled to appear in the Singapore leg starting on Tuesday.

The third season of the IPTL has already started with the Tokyo leg being played from December 2 to 4 onward while the Singapore leg will start On Tuesday and will be played till Thursday. The third leg will be hosted in Hyderabad from December 9 to 11.

The season will witness a total of 17 matches, with each of the four teams playing eight matches in a customised round robin format. Last year the tournament had 5 teams and a galaxy of top stars. The appeal of the tournament has dwindled significantly this year with Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych the biggest draws in the men's event.