By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
April 26, 2013
After his victory at the Sony Open, Andy Murray ascended to ATP World No. 2. In the wake of an announcement by his agency XIX Entertainment, it appears that the Scot has more than the No. 1 ranking in his sights—Murray’s company has partnered with Globosport, the company run by Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, to explore business opportunities in India and China.
Bhupathi has been recruiting the world’s top players to back a pan-Asian tennis tournament similar to cricket’s Indian Premier League, to be held over a three-week stretch during the ATP recess at the end of the year.
Murray is the first marquee player to jump on board, and the Asian move echoes the attempts of American Mardy Fish to resurrect a pro tour stop in Los Angeles, and could be a sign that the players are taking more control of global tennis business than ever before.
There’s a big problem with the timing of the Asian event, however. The body of ATP players has been demanding that they play fewer tournaments each year, not more, diminishing the likelihood that any top players would agree to play in it—including Murray himself.