It’s been a rough 2016 for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) which was once promising as it has had to reduce its originally intended format to three cities from five.

That was just the beginning of its woes as reports coming in have alleged the pull out of two of the biggest names in the tennis world from the tournament. As such, the competition this year will not be featuring the duo of Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

The founder and Managing Director of the IPTL in a recently released statement, had said,

“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 bringing them in future years.”

According to Sportinglife, Tony Godsick, Roger Federer’s agent had confirmed the withdrawal of his client from the IPTL which he attributed to be due to “some problems and uncertainties surrounding the IPTL,” adding that Federer “hopes to play in future years if the IPTL continues.”

Majority of the big names in the sport have already pulled out due to the challenges facing the IPTL, which thus leaves World No. 10, Thomas Berdych as the highest ranked singles player still in the tournament.

Federer and Serena are both just coming out of injuries, with Federer, having been out since July as he made an effort to recover from a nagging knee injury. For Williams, her last participation was since the U’S Open, and she had not played since then as she tried to get back into full fitness following a shoulder injury.