IPTL: Indian Aces secures narrow win over Singapore Slammers

With scores level at 2-2 after four one-set matches, all depended on Kirsten and she did not disappoint the Indian Aces, edging past Kiki 6-5 via shootout to give the team a narrow 26-26 win over holder Singapore Slammers.

Sania Mirza Ivan Dodig Indian Aces IPTL,

Indian Aces' Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig share a laugh during the match against Singapore Slammers on Saturday.   -  PhotoConcierge

India Aces registered a narrow one-point win over defending champion Singapore Slammers with Kiki Bertens giving her team the win in a do-or-die women’s singles clash in IPTL on Saturday. After a defeat on Day 1, Japan Warriors clinched its first points with a convincing 23-20 victory over the UAE Royals.

With scores level at 2-2 after four one-set matches, all depended on Kirsten and she did not disappoint the Aces, edging past Kiki 6-5 via shootout.

It was the second consecutive win for Indian Aces this IPTL season.

The contest was tight from the beginning with former World No. 1 Carlos Moya beating Thomas Enqvist 6-4 in the Legends singles. Feliciano Lopez leveled the match for the Indian side with a 6-4 victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the men’s singles encounter.

In the men's doubles, the Slammers pair of Nick Kyrgios and Marcelo Melo prevailed 6-4 over Ivan Dodig and Lopez.

Sania Mirza and Bopanna carried on with their great form from the opening day and got the Aces on level terms with their 6-4 win over Melo and Kiki, leaving the women’s singles as the decider.

Kirsten, who won her singles on Day 1, raised her level right when it mattered and turned around the score to force a Super Shootout against Kiki. The Belgian was sensational at the decisive moments as she secured an a tight triumph for the Aces.

“It was really nice to get the win for the team. It was a really tough match, a really tough deciding set,” said Kirsten.

Carlos Moya said,”I like the different rules and the team environment. Big stadiums still give me the chills and the adrenaline that I missed after I retired. For me is a pleasure to be here. Nishikori, Raonic, Kyrgios, Zverev, Thiem... Those five names are the ones that will probably be the next first time Grand Slam winners.”

Lopez said, "The key behind playing doubles and singles is to be healthy and stay healthy for a long time. It’s almost two years that I play singles and doubles every week. With Marc L, who is one of my best friends, makes things easier. Otherwise would be very tough for me.”

“I’ve got many presents from Japanese fans, letters, one of them actually made a book of pictures she took me on different places.”