Manila: Manila Mavericks registered their first win of the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), defeating Singapore Slammers 27-19 at the Mall of Asia Arena here Sunday.
Mavericks’ player-cum-coach Treat Huey won the toss and elected to serve and the match began with the past champions’ singles match, which was won 6-2 by Mark Philippoussis against Patrick Rafter.
Philippoussis was drafted in as a substitute due to Carlos Moya’s injury and proved that he was the right choice.
In the second set, Huey and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged the in-form Singapore doubles pair of Nick Kyrgios, who was substituted mid-set for Lleyton Hewitt, and Tomas Berdych, 6-5.
Up next, Singaporean mixed doubles pairing of Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt lost 1-6 against the home team combination of Andy Murray and Kirsten Flipkens.
Serena, 18-time Grand Slam champion, returned for the singles match and won 6-3 against Flipkens.
“I love the team atmosphere. If you lose a match everyone is still positive and that what I love about it. The reception of the crowd has been amazing. Just warming up and hearing the crowd was spectacular and unexpected. I feel honoured to feel that,” Serena said.
“I've never played and been here before. It's good to come to countries like this because you realise we have fans everywhere and we never get to come to places where some of the fans are and forget that you do have fans everywhere. It feels good to have that opportunity,” the 33-year-old added.
In the fifth set, Murray overcame a fighting Kyrgios 6-5 to ensure that his team win on the final day of the Manila leg.