Dubai, 14th December 2015: Playing on home turf at the opening day of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) 2015 in Dubai, the Obi UAE Royals strutted on court to a rousing welcome.
Led by tennis superstar Roger Federer and team mates Goran Ivanisevic, Marin Cilic, Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor, the UAE Royals had a thrilling contest with the Philippine Mavericks on opening night at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
The legends singles saw James Blake coming in for the Mavericks, with Mark Philippoussis sitting out due to injury. Playing his first IPTL match, Blake caused an upset, winning over Ivanisevic in the shootout to close the set 6-5.
In the women’s singles, Mladenovic settled the score at 1 set all, winning over Tomjlanovic 6-2.
Gajdosova/Roger-Vasselin gave the Mavericks a 2-1 lead winning the mixed doubles 6-5 in the shootout against Mladenovic/Cilic, in a match that saw some clever shot-making from both teams.
Huey/Roger-Vasselin delivered yet another superb win for the Mavericks despite the strong pairing of Federer/Cilic for the Royals, winning the set 6-4.
In the match-up of the evening, and the decider with both teams tied at 20-all till this point in the match, playing for the UAE Royals, Federer came out strong against IPTL-debutant Ivo Karlovic for the Mavericks. With 5 aces against 4 from Federer, Karlovic won the set 6-4 delivering the goods for the Mavericks and winning the match 26-24 for his team.
In the first game of the day, the Micromax Indian Aces walked onto to court with a confident swagger, confident with 6 wins out of 7 matches played, but more so because they won their title last year right here in Dubai!
The Legendari Japan Warriors on the other, hungry for wins, with Herbert in great form.
In the mixed doubles, Mirza/Bopannastruggled a bit against the first-time pairing of Flipkens/Hebert who won the set 6-4, clearly Herbert enjoying a great run of form.
Women’s singles saw Radwanska walking away with the set 6-1 in quick time against Lucic-Baroni.
Magician Santoro won his set 6-0 in 20 short minutes against Enqvist who struggled to earn a single point this evening.
Bopanna/Dodig put up a great fight in the men’s doubles against Kohlschreiber/Paes, the set going down to the wire with both sides not wanting to give up. Ultimately the Aces won it in the shootout, taking it away at 6-5.
Making his IPTL debut, Bernard Tomic came in for the singles for the Aces, but taking time to find his rhythm in the fast-paced format of the IPTL. Kohlschreiber winning it 6-3 for the Warriors.
Ultimately, the Aces got the better of the evening, winning the match 25-18.