It was a tame surrender by the Chennai Warriors as Hyderabad Aces notched up a convincing 25-19 win in the second edition of the Champions Tennis League at the LB Stadium here on Monday night. This was Hyderabad’s second win in three matches while Chennai lost its third consecutive match.
The only consolation for Chennai was that Fernando Verdasco ensured that it was not a whitewash by clinching the men’s singles - the last match of the evening – defeating the big-serving Ivo Karlovic 5-4 via tie-breaker.
The super over time rule was opted when Hyderabad Aces was leading 24-18 in which Chennai earned one more point before finishing off as losers.
In the Legends singles, Thomas Johansson gave a winning start again for Hyderabad with a 5-3 win over Rainer Schuettler. With a high quality serve and better court coverage, Johansson, the former Australian Open champion, had better control of the ground strikes from the baseline and more importantly essayed some wonderful crosscourt winners. Though Schuettler fired an ace and got his big serve at 2-3 to try to come back into the game, Johansson closed in with some classy returns.
To the delight of her bench and also the noisy fans cheering the Aces, Martina Hingis made amends for her earlier loss by outsmarting Heather Watson with a 5-2 win. Though there was little to choose between the two at the start of the contest with scoreline reading two-all, Hingis left behind the rival with a series of stunning crosscourt returns. And, as the match progressed, Watson faltered with her returns and more importantly Hingis came up with brilliant returns of serve too.
To her credit, Hingis started off with a break point and wrapped up the match too with another one with her trademark backhand passing shot. Soon, Hingis was back on court for the mixed doubles match the big-serving Ivo Karlovic and combined well to down Fernando Verdasco for a 5-4 (5-1) verdict. It was a match which showed why Hingis is the reigning World No.1 in women's doubles as she excelled in some wonderful interceptions at the net even as Karlovic stood tall and solid like a rock.
Significantly, this evening, there was an improved display from the Hyderabad men’s doubles combine too with Karlovic and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan edging out Verdasco and J. Vishnu Vardhan 5-4 (5-3).
The results: Hyderabad Aces 25 bt Chennai Warriors 19 (Thomas Johansson bt Rainer Schuettler 5-3; Martina Hingis bt Heather Watson 5-2; Ivo Karlovic & Martina Hingis bt Fernando Verdasco & Heather Watson 5-4; Ivo Karlovic & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Fernando Verdasco & J. Vishnu Vardhan 5-4; Ivo Karlovic lost to Fernando Verdasco 4-5). In super over time, both teams earned one point each.
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