CTL: Hyderabad Aces beat Bangalore Raptors in 'super overtime'
Hyderabad Aces dealt a big blow to Bangalore Raptors' chances of advancing to the final of the Champions Tennis League after the visitors registered a 25-22 win in a thrilling group match here.
Bengaluru: Hyderabad Aces dealt a big blow to Bangalore Raptors' chances of advancing to the final of the Champions Tennis League after the visitors registered a 25-22 win in a thrilling group match here.
Bangalore had a chance to win the tie in the deciding rubber, but Hyderabad's Mikhail Youzhny poured cold water on the hopes of the hosts by defeating Feliciano Lopez in 'super overtime' which was forced upon the players as the overall points of the teams were on par.
The winner of the 'super overtime' gets bonus points and hence the tie ended with Hyderabad ousting Bangalore 25-22 at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Stadium late last night.
Youzhny teamed up with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan to defeat Lopez and Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-5 (5-3) in the men's doubles as the Aces took a 21-16 lead.
Earlier, Impressive wins by Mark Philippoussis and Martina Hingis in their singles matches helped Hyderabad Aces take a 15-11 lead over Bangalore Raptors at the end of the third match.
Australian Mark Philippoussis beat Bangalore's Thomas Enqvist 6-4 in the legend's singles before home team's mixed doubles pair of Mikhail Youzhny and Martina Hingis - lost to power-packed combination of Venus Williams and Feliciano Lopez.
Losing the mixed doubles to Bangalore, it put Hyderabad at par and it all depended on Hingis to bring the visitors into the reckoning after she decimated the former world No 1 Venus 6-1 as the American looked tired and out of sorts, playing immediately after the mixed doubles.
Hingis was right on money, playing with precision as she made just five unforced errors compared to Venus' 18 - far too many and unexpected of a class player she is.
Venus hit five winners compared to Hingis' six and yet it was not enough to make any impression in the match.
Bangalore received a jolt early on in the opening game when Enqvist, who was leading 2-0, lost the momentum to the big serving pro Mark Philippoussis, who broke twice in the eighth and the tenth game to clinch the opener 6-4 for Hyderabad.
Philippoussis produced three consecutive aces in the seventh game for which he is famous and that really set the tone for the big Australian to forge ahead in the next three games to pocket a crucial win against Bangalore, who had lost earlier two contests.
Enqvist had far too many unforced errors to his name in the stats column and essayed six winners against Philippoussis' eleven, which made the difference.
Apart from weaving some smashing forehand and backhand shots, Philippoussis mixed up shots, sometimes coming from the baseline and near the net, was simply fabulous to watch.
After losing the first singles match, Bangalore pair Venus Williams and Feliciano Lopez, came back strongly trouncing the combination of Mikhail Youzhny and Martina Hingis, in the mixed doubles encounter, with 6-3 margin.
Both Venus and Lopez played to their strengths, while Venus played some powerful baseline shots and Lopez delectable vollies near net, caught their rivals on their wrong foot.
Bangalore pair broke twice in first six games providing a 4-2 lead to the hosts.
It was Venus, who gave the much needed fillip by playing some powerful forehand shots, much to the delight of the fairly good crowd assembled at the stadium.
Compared to the two winners by Hyderabad, Bangalore had fourteen winners and four aces to dry the confidence of Hingis and Youzhny.
Hyderabad are leading the South Zone with 77 points while Banaglore are on second on 71 and both the teams have one match left to play. The third team in South Zone, Pune Marathas have 51 points but they have two matches in hand.
Only the group topper from a zone makes it to the final to be held on November 26.