Bengaluru: 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 in their Champions Tennis League group tie here on Friday.
Australian Mark Philippoussis beat Bangalore's Thomas Enquist 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 eassayed 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 two winners sketched by Hyderabad, Bangalore had fourteen winners and four aces to dry the confidence of Hingis and Youzhny.