IPTL: Indian Aces downs Singapore Slammers

The Indian Aces prevailed over OUE Singapore Slammers 24-19 in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Friday night.

Sania Mirza

Despite the presence of Sania Mirza, spectator turnout for the Hyderabad leg of the IPTL was low.   -  PhotoConcierge

Ana Ivanovic Japan Warriors

Ana Ivanovic of UAE Royals crushed Kurumi Nara of Japan Warriors 6-1 in the IPTL at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad on Friday evening.   -  PhotoConcierge

The Indian Aces prevailed over OUE Singapore Slammers 24-19 in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Friday night.

Feliciano Lopez gave the Aces a rousing start, pairing at first with Ivan Dodig to overcome Marcelo Melo and Marcos Baghdatis 6-2. He then breezed past Mohawk-maned Nick Kyrgios 6-0. Nothing seemed to go right for Canberra-born Kyrgios, who at times looked quite crestfallen when his errors piled up.

In the women’s singles, Kirsten Flipkens and Kiki Bertens traded breaks in the first two games. The latter wrested serve in the fourth and the eighth to pull one back for the Slammers.

Carlos Moya bridged the divide better while living up to his billing as the most valuable player (MVP) among the legends. Calm and composed, he patted in one winner after another, breaking Thomas Enqvist in the ninth game to emerge a convincing 6-4 winner.

Despite doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza figuring in the day’s last fixture, the spectators were sparse. Rohan Bopanna and Sania were broken in the eighth game but drew level at 5-5. The deadlock had to be resolved by a shootout, in which the Aces reached the magical mark of seven with the Slammers stuck at two.

Japan Warriors destroys UAE Royals

Japan Warriors distanced itself further from last placed UAE Royals, registering a 25-20 victory in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Friday evening.

For the vanquished team, Tomas Berdych raised hopes, claiming the shootout against Fernando Verdasco 6-5, the former first to reach 7 after the duo was level at 5-5.

Fatigue got the better of the Czech as he lost the next game to Verdasco, the Spaniard holding his nerve to secure his side a win in over-time.

In the opening tie featuring the legends, Royals' Goran Ivanisevic displayed the panache, patent to left-handers, in patches, but it was not enough to stop Marat Safin’s sustained onslaught. The Moscow native attributed his win to increasing comfort on court after a long lay-off that even saw him foray into politics in Russia.

Repeatedly wrong-footing Kurumi Nara of the Warriors, Ana Ivanovic recorded a facile 6-1 win in a mere 19 minutes.

The score:

Indian Aces bt Singapore Slammers 24-19 (Ivan Dodig/Feliciano Lopez bt Marcelo Melo/Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, Lopez bt Nick Kyrgios 6-0, Kiki Bertens bt Kirsten Flipkens lost to Kiki Bertens 2-6, Thomas Enqvist lost to Carlos Moya 4-6, Rohan Bopanna/Sania Mirza bt Baghdatis/Bertens 6-5 (2).

Japan Warriors 25 bt UAE Royals 20 (Marat Safin bt Goran Ivanisevic 6-3, Kurumi Nara lost to Ana Ivanovic 1-6, Rojer/Jankovic bt Nestor/Ivanovic 6-5, Rojer/Verdasco Berdych/Cuevas 6-0, Fernando Verdasco bt Tomas Berdych 6-6, in over-time )