Who knew that Lorde was such a tennis fan? Her 2013 hit “Tennis Court” was one of the few songs to mention the sport beyond an offhand lyric, but I’m not just talking (up like yeah) about that tune.
The 18-year-old’s two other smash singles, “Royals” and “Team,” also pay homage to the game, if you want to stretch their meanings a bit.
The UAE Royals, whose roster included Novak Djokovic, were one of four teams in the recently completed, inaugural season of the International Premier Tennis League.
The IPTL wasn’t the only league running in tennis’ absurdly brief off-season: The Champions Tennis League likewise brought many top players to Asia, at significant cost, for dual-gender match-ups.
If you include the Davis Cup final, played in a venue that seated over 27,000, team competition has been front and center in the tennis world over the last few weeks.
Both the IPTL and CTL use fan-friendly scoring formats, among other alterations from conventional play. For one, an IPTL team can declare a “power point”—the point counts double—under certain circumstances.
The structure is also conducive to broadcasters, who are often faced with a daunting task in covering tennis: Matches typically run either too long (so the conclusion runs into another program) or too short (dust off the Connors vs. Krickstein tape).
“Flattering to see our format catching on,” says Rosie Crews, senior vice president of communications at Mylan World TeamTennis.