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IPTL 2015 : Top 6 mouth watering clashes to look forward to

Nadal leads the head-to-head 23-19
Vineet Harsh

Roger Federer won a thrilling set 6-5 last year in the IPTL against Novak DjokovicIPTL, the entertainment-centric tournament of tennis, has recently announced its plans for next season in 2015. A new team, Japan Warriors has been added and some great players like Rafael Nadal, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya and others have been assigned teams.This surely means more number of matches and some exciting mouth watering clashes to look forward to. We have seen and enjoyed many of these clashes before, be it in Grand Slam finals or ATP tournaments, but the unique format of IPTL makes it much more entertaining. We all remember Federer- Djokovic clash held in Delhi on 8th December which went to wire having a score line of 6-5 in favor of Federer.This surely was the most significant tennis clash India has ever hosted and all us viewers had our hearts in our mouth by watching Federer’s volleys and Djokovic’s baseline backhands. But fear not, IPTL 2015 boasts very exciting matches as well.

#1 Rafael Nadal(Indian Aces) vs Novak Djokovic(Singapore Slammers)

Nadal leads the head-to-head 23-19

Nadal was not partofthe last IPTL, so this year he will surely fill that voidand display his prowess. Also, many fans across the world are aching to watch the epic clashes between the two best baseline players in the world.This means we will witness a set of Djokovic vs Nadal entertainment.

Nadal leads Djokovic in headto head clashes 23-19, but Djokovic has a 4-1 lead in recent clashes. But you can never write down Nadals commitment and physical and mental strength; Who can forget Nadal beating Djokovic in 2012 French Open, a year when Djokovic had won all other 3 Grand Slams. So, may the best athlete on that day win in a cliff hanger!

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#2 Roger Federer(UAE Royals) vs Rafael Nadal(Indian Aces)

Nadal leads the head-to-head 23-10

This rivalry is known to produce sensational skills and jaw dropping shot making.This epicsaga which started at the ATP 1000Miami Open 2004 where Nadal beat Federer has since then been considered by many as the greatest tennis rivalry of all times.

We witnessed Nadal having an edge over Federer in almost all clay court matches but Federer having an edge on hard and grass courts.This meant Federer winnningthe Wimbledon and Nadal the French open. The abnormalitycame in Wimbledon 2008 when Nadal beat a resilient Federer6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7.This was truly a historic day in Tennis history as this went away from Federers dominance on non-clay courts.

Nadal leads Federer 23-10 in head to head clashes and has won all 5 recent clashes.But as Nadal has shown a dip inform after his injury and recovery has been slow, Federer just might have an edge this time.

Heres a video of that absorbing match in 2008.

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#3 Serena Williams(Manila Mavericks) vs Maria Sharapova(Japan Warriors)

Serena leads the head-to-head 17-2

We are not sure if we will be able to witness this clash in IPTL 2015, but we can surely hope. The two most consistent women in tennis of late, this match will be filled with entertainment and grunts.Initially, Sharapova had an edge over Serena in 2004 when the Russian beat the American in her only 2 wins against her, This also led to Sharapova being crowned number 1 in WTA at the age of just 18. But she could not hold her ranking for long.

Serena was also suffering frommajor bouts of depression and adip in form during that time. But she regained her number 1 ranking in 2008 and eventual dominance since2011.Serena leads Sharapova 17-2 in head to head clashes, but Sharapova sure can give Serena a run for the money.

Heres a video of the highlights of the 2015 Australian Open final.

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#4 Goran Ivanisevic(UAE Royals) vs Marat Safin(Japan Warriors)

Both Goran and Safin have won one match apiece on the 2 occasions that they have met

The two big serving legends, Marat Safin and Goran Ivanisevic, are set to clash. We haven’t witnessed a lot of games between the two but they certainly have a flair for the dramatics. Marat is known for his hot temper and racquet demolishing acts while Goran is as cool as a cucumber.

They have a 1-1 head to head record, but their Wimbledon quarter-final clash of 2001 was a nail biter.This was also a confidence booster for Goran when he beat an inform Marat in 2001. Goran beat Marat in 4 sets and ultimately went on to win the tournament.

#5 Gael Monfils(Indian Aces) vs Nick Krygios(Singapore Slammers)

Interesting match up on the cards when these two face off

This clash hopes to be pure fun. If we bring doubles clash between these two from IPTL 2014 into memory, we will remember Gael dancing to the tunes of the DJ after playing a backhand and Nick encouraging the crowd to be more dynamic.

Gael Monfils, the tennis player who can fly is known to stay in his party mood which means we will witness some dancing as well as brilliant shot making. If the past holds good we will surely watch some brilliant winners and jaw-dropping saves. Nick Kyrgios, the 19-year-old Aussie is no less when showing physical commitment on the court. This makes for an excellent service game and one can expect a fun-filled set when these two take to the court.

Here’s a video of one of Kyrgios’s doubles clash that he was involved in last year.

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#6 Roger Federer(UAE Royals) vs Novak Djokovic(Singapore Slammers)

Federer leads Djokovic 20-18

At last, we revisit Federer vs Djokovic rivalry. In the past, this might not be a grand rivalry but of late its becoming one of the best in tennis history. Djokovic has surged to the top since 2011 and is the toughest man to beat in the business. Both these players have excellent records on hard courts and display amazing skills while competing against each other.Their IPTL 2014 clash in New Delhi was no different.

Even though this was not an ATP event, both players displayed great enthusiasm and commitment to helptheir teams win. Watching this epic battle in person was surely on my bucket list and we are happy it happened sooner than later.

Federer leads Djokovic 20-18 in head to headclashesbut Djokovic narrowly leadsFederer 3-2 in recent clashes. This includes the recent Djoko win in Indian Wells ATP1000but Federer win in Dubai open. Both these players are in top form and we can only hope for a cracker of a set when they meet.

Heres a video of that thrilling set.

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Edited by Staff Editor

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