IPTL: Indian Aces register second win in a row

Manila, Nov 29: Indian Aces continued their winning run as they beat Manila Mavericks 24-15 on the second day of the much talked about International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) here today. Having started their campaign by defeating Singapore Slammers, Indian aces today strengthened their position by outplaying star-studded Mavericks side.

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Opting to serve first, Mavericks captain Treay Huey decided to begin the match with legend's singles game and Fabrice Santoro of Indian Aces was scheduled to play Carlos Moya. The Spanish legend, representing Mavericks, retired hurt with groin injury at 3-1 and was replaced by Daniel Nestor, who Santoro easily beat 6-1.

Gael Monfils, right, of the Indian Aces team celebrates his win with teammate Rohan Bopanna during the men's singles match against Andy Murray of the Manila Mavericks

The Manila boys - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Filipino Treat Huey - then outplayed his fellow country mate Gael Monfils, partnering Rohan Bopanna 6-0 to give the Mavericks a 7-6 lead over the Indian team after the end of two sets.

The Aces, however, bounced back in the third set with Gael Monfils beating the only member of Big Four club, Andy Murray 6-4. After leading the set at 3-4, Murray succumbed to Monfils losing the three consecutive points and eventually the set. (Full Coverage of the league)

At the end of third set, the Mavericks trail 11-12. In the clash between two stars pairs, India's Sania Mirza and Bopanna mauled the top singles players, Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray brutally.

It is not always necessary that the two great singles players would make a good doubles team, and this was proved today as the experienced Indian duo thrashed Sharapova and Murray 6-1 to give Aces an 18-12 lead.

Ana Ivanovic of Indian Aces then shut the door on Mavericks by getting the better of Sharapova 6-3. After losing the mixed doubles match with huge margin, Sharapova lost her way in the singles match in the fifth and final individual set. (Hilarious images of Roger Federer)

Sharapova started off well with consecutive two aces down the line to hold the opening serve but the first break point came in the third game with Ivanovic taking a 4-1 lead. The Russian then broke Ivanovic in the sixth game but could not win the set and eventually lost the match.

UAE Royals beat Singapore Slammers

Indian Aces will next face UAE Royals, who earlier today beat Singapore Slammers 3-2 in sets and 28-22 on game points. The day started with the most-awaited match with the current men's singles players - Marin Cilic of UAE Royals and Tomas Berdych of Singapore Slammers - facing each other.

Cilic took an early lead by breaking Tomas in third game and extending it to 4-3, but Berdych tied it 4-4. But another break of serve by Berdych helped Cilic defeat the Czech player 6-4.

In the men's doubles, the Singapore pair of Berdych and Nick Kyrgios then toppled the doubles specialists Nenad Zimonjic and Cilic of UAE 6-5 , to square the set 1-1. Berdych and Kyrgios remained unbeaten in the tournament. They were trailing a game point behind their opponents but remained rock-solid to win it in five-minutes tie-breaker.

Kristina Mladenovic beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-1

UAE Royals once again took the upper hand when Kristina Mladenovic got the better of Daniela Hantuchova 6-1 in the women's singles. A strong performance by 21-year-old Mladenovic put UAE in command with a 6-1 win over the World No. 57 Hantuchova.

World. no. 63, UAE Royals player had fallen short in her last match against Russian star Sharapova, but today she made no error to dispatch the Slovakian. With her massive win, she managed to put UAE six game points ahead of Singapore.

But the mixed doubles duo of Bruno Soares and Hantuchova pulled another set back in Singapore's favour as they defeated Mladenovic and Zimonjic to narrow down the gap in game points to trail 17-22.

In the end, it was the former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who gave UAE Royals their second match win of the tournament by beating twice major winner Patrick Rafter 6-5.

In the legends round, Croatia's lone Wimbledon winner and Rafter took the match till the tie-breakers, which was won by Ivanisevic comfortably. The second placed UAE Royals will clash with the fourth and last placed DBS Singapore Slammers in the third match here tomorrow.


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