CTL: Hingis sizzles as Aces crush Warriors

V Chennai Warriors failed to stage a comeback in the contest and went down in a one-sided encounter at home. With unending screams of ‘Martina, I love you’, Hyderabad Aces dominated their first Champions Tennis League match, as they beat V Chennai Warriors 24-16.

Martina Hingis overcame Britain's Heather Watson in the women's singles round.   -  R. Ragu

With unending screams of ‘Martina, I love you’, Hyderabad Aces dominated their first Champions Tennis League match, as they beat V Chennai Warriors 24-16 at the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu Tennis Stadium here on Wednesday.

V Chennai Warriors failed to stage a comeback in the contest and went down in a one-sided encounter at home.

The day’s tie started with the legends match where Thomas Johansson of Hyderabad beat Rainer Schuettler of Chennai 5-4.

Johansson’s slew of aces

Johansson looked to have picked up tips from Iva Karlovic as he kept firing the aces. The Swedish hit five aces to up his game. The set was decided by a tiebreaker, which Johansson held on and went on to win 5-2.

The first game was interrupted by cheers of the crowd as local actors and a few Chennayin FC players graced the event with their presence. On the sidelines, Jelena Jankovic was seen watching the first game closely.

Next up was the women’s singles match between the star attraction, Martina Hingis, and Briton’s Heather Watson, where the former world number one clinched the set in a one-sided encounter against British number two.

Martina dominates Heather

 

Martina dominated the game through out. It was only the third game she made a few unforced errors, losing the game to Heather.

The former world number one did a lot of running to match up to the young Briton, as she kept on closing in to pick Heather’s drop shots. Heather made Martina run all around the court. Both the players showed glimpses of good cross court game.

In between changing sides, Martina was seen involved in a friendly banter with Schuettler.

Few daring shots from Heather also made Martina acknowledge as she raised her racquet to praise the young player.

In the end, Martina won 5-3, to take Hyderabad Aces to 107.

As Martina and Karlovic prepared to play the mixed doubles against Heather and Fernando Verdasco, Johansson was seen giving serve tips to Adil Kalyanpur.

Karlovic-Martina eased through in mixed-doubles

In the mixed doubles match, the tall Karlovic towered over the opponents with his serves. The Hyderabad duo went up 2-0. In the second game, Heather used her height to her benefit to sneak in a shot in between the tall Karlovic and Martina. However, the Chennai duo were no match to their opponent as they won the third match comfortably by 5-2, not before Martina managing to smash one shot back directly at Heather’s body, unintentionally.

Johansson, meanwhile, was seen clicking a selfie with V Chennai Warriors co-owner, Prabhu Deva.

Karlovic continued to dominate with his height as he partnered Jeevan in the men’s doubles against Verdasco and Vishnu. The match was halted by a drizzle as the two teams stood for some time to decide whether to go ahead with the match or not.

The crowd started to leave as the drizzle became strong with the Chennai team trying to steer their side back in the game. However, Hyderabad’s coordination and Karlovic’s height benefited the visiting side as they beat Warriors 5-3. The score stood 20-12 with the final match of men’s singles between Karlovic and verdasco left.

 

Karlovic’s menacing serves

Karlovic looked menacing with his serves as his shots went on to hit the umpire and then two ball boys. However, with his trainer cheering him from the media sitting area, Verdasco hung on to push the game to a tiebreaker.

The tiebreaker went on till the end as Verdasco was made to serve the decider. However, he could give Chennai their sole win of the night as Karlovic went on to win the final game 5-4. The final score stood 24-26 to Hyderabad Aces.

V Chennai Warriors will be looking to improve their performances in the second match against Nagpur Orangers, which will take place at the same venue on Thursday.