Manila: The much-awaited inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) got off to a flying start with the Indian Aces notching an impressive 26-16 first victory against the Singapore Slammers at the Mall of Asia Arena here Friday.
Aces player-cum-coach Fabrice Santoro won the toss and elected to serve and the evening started with the mixed doubles match of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza (Aces) against the Slammers pairing of Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova.
After being broken early, Soares and Hantuchova broke back but the clever shot making of Bopanna and Mirza ultimately won the first set 6-4.
Past champions singles followed with Santoro playing against Australian legend Patrick Rafter (Slammers) giving the crowds the league’s first shootout at 5-5 in the set, which Santoro took to lead two sets to love.
Tomas Berdych, Nick Kyrgios, Ana Ivanovic and Gael Monfils showed their class by taking the last three sets with relative ease but ultimately giving the Aces a terrific win over the Slammers.
“The crowd was amazing, they were really into the match. It was great to see and made the match more exciting. I’m really happy to spend time with all of the players on the team bench," said Ivanovic.
"The team spirit is great, we laugh a lot and make jokes and really support each other during points. It’s very interesting to get into the team spirit because we don’t get it that much in tennis because we are always travelling. It was a great match and also fun format.”
Results: Indian aces 26 beat Singapore Slammers 16
Mixed doubles: Rohan Bopanna/Sania Mirza (Aces) beat Bruno Soares/Daniela Hantuchova (Slammers) 6-4
Past Champions' Singles: Fabrice Santoro (Aces) beat Patrick Rafter (Slammers) 6-5
Men's doubles: Rohan Bopanna/Gael Monfils (Aces) lost to Tomas Berdych/Nick Kyrgios (Slammers) 2-6
Women's singles: Ana Ivanovic (Aces) beat Daniela Hantuchova (Slammers) 6-0
Men's singles: Gael Monfils (Aces) beat Lleyton Hewitt (Slammers) 6-1.