Chandigarh: Punjab Marshalls put up a stunning display of team spirit and world-class tennis to clinch their second home match in Chandigarh, this time against Mumbai Tennis Masters, in the Champions Tennis League.
The Chandigarh team made a clean-sweep of the first three sets on a chilly Saturday evening at the CLTA Stadium and won the tie 24-13, thanks to ace performances from Greg Rusedski, Elina Svitolina and Marcos Baghdatis.
With this victory, Punjab has jumped to the top of Group A table with 3 wins and the highest number of "games won" so far.
Punjab Marshalls is way ahead of Raipur Rangers and Mumbai Tennis Masters and have a chance to make it to the CTL 2015 finals if they perform well in the next two Group A matches in Raipur.
Team Captain Greg Rusedski extracted sweet revenge over former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek in the legends set with a 5-3 win. Rusedski had lost to him in Mumbai, but was determined to give his team a winning start.
In the women's singles set, US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, representing Mumbai, looked a pale shadow of her aggressive self against rising star Elina Svitolina of Punjab Marshalls.
World No 19 Elina came up with some extremely crisp shots to break the Italian twice and wrap-up the set with a 5-2 win. She was also able to avenge her loss to the same player in Mumbai earlier this week.
But the most entertaining set of the evening was the mixed doubles encounter. Elina and Marcos the Magician - Marcos Baghdatis - were in top-form as they completely dominated the Mumbai pair of Pennetta and Santiago Giraldo. Marshalls won 5-0, recording the first bagel of the league.
Smiling and enjoying playing through the set, Marcos and Elina set the stage perfectly for another home victory for Punjab Marshalls.
Mumbai Masters did manage to crawl back with a 5-4 victory in men's singles, but the gap is still a mammoth one and they will need a miracle to close it.
Results: Punjab Marshalls v Mumbai Tennis Masters (Greg Rusedski bt Richard Krajicek 5-3; Elina Svitolina bt FLavia Pennetta 5-2; Svitolina/Marcos Baghdatis bt Pennetta/Santiago Giraldo 5-0; Baghdatis/Saketh Myneni lost to Giraldo/Sriram Balaji 4-5).