Manila – December 8, 2015: Electrifying tennis; this is what Manila saw on Day 3 of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League.
Two evenly poised teams – the Mavericks had Serena Williams and the Aces had Rafael Nadal.
In a match that went right down the wire, and one that could have gone either way, the home team powered by the big-serving Milos Raonic won a thrilling shoot-out to close it at 25-24.
In the legends action, Philippoussis got the better of Magician Santoro today by shooting 6 aces across the net during the set and winning it 6-4 for the home team.
The visitors, who are not used to losing, took it away in the men’s doubles with Dodig/Nadal showcasing doubles tennis of the highest order. Nadal with his quick reflexes and superlative shot-making was the cynosure of all eyes, winning it for the visitors 6-4.
Mixed doubles was an Aces show all the way, with the experienced Indian pairing of Mirza/Bopanna proving far too superior for Williams/Huey, giving the Aces a 2-1 lead by winning their set 6-3.
Serena Williams proved just why she is such a tennis powerhouse. Winning her set 6-3 for the home team against Samantha, Serena capped her second IPTL stint in fine fashion, promising home fans a come back next year.
In the most-awaited match of the evening, tennis fans welcomed Nadal and Raonic for the singles game. It was a nail-biting match, right until the last point was played. The Mavericks, charged by a very vocal fan base on home turf, and big-serving Raonic, took the set in a cracker of a shoot-out 7-6.
The loss by the Indian Aces was their first in this season and gives the Philippine Mavericks the overall lead in the tournament. IPTL now shifts to their 3rd leg in New Delhi, India starting this December 10 as the Aces and the Mavericks will open up with a rematch.
In the earlier match, a win evading the UAE Royals since their last couple of matches, it was finally time for victory as they beat the OUE Singapore Slammers 26-23 on the third day here in Manila, before the Coca-Cola IPTL moves on to its next stop in Delhi, India.
It was magical tennis all the way, teams eager to win every game, to help their win-loss percentage in the overall points tally. The Slammers only managed to win one set out of five, but the tennis on display tonight was supreme!
Ana Ivanovic started the evening for the Royals, winning her match against Pliskova 6-5 giving the Royals a confident start.
Ivanisevic and Moya provided pure vintage tennis, both legends not willing to give up. Goran prevailed, winning it 6-4.
Mixed doubles saw Mladenovic/Nestor take on the young-blooded pairing of Bencic/Kyrgios, winning it with 6-4, bringing a royal smile on her team-mates, now 3 sets up against the Slammers.
The combined pairing of Kyrgios/Melo helped the Slammers win the set 6-2, their only winning set this evening.
But it was the men’s singles face-off between Berdych and Kyrgios which was tennis at its best. Despite 4 aces from Kyrgios, Berdych took the set away 6-4
The loss gave the Japan Warriors their 5th straight loss and remained win-less in the IPTL. On the other hand, the UAE Royals are now placed 3rd in the standings with a 3-2 record.
The Warriors and the Royals will clash again; opening up the India leg on December 10, 2015 in New Delhi.