Recapping the best moments for the UAE Royals from their home leg at Dubai
- A look at the best moments from the UAE leg of the IPTL for the UAE Royals.
Roger Federer, Kristina Mladenovic and Goran IvanisevicThe high point of the UAE Royals’ 2015 International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) Dubai sojourn came on the last day of their campaign at home when they prevailed 26-22 against the Japan Warriors. It was pleasing to see the one-time table-toppers finally clicking as a team, as the members lived up to the expectations. After the Kobe leg, when the UAE franchise led the Team Standings, they suddenly appeared to lose steam, building up leads but failing to close out matches. That was the chief reason for their downfall against the Japan Warriors, the Philippine Mavericks and the Singapore Slammers. Even the presence of 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer could not help in turning around their fortunes as the World No. 3 surprisingly succumbed in each of the six sets in which he has so far participated.But against the Warriors on Wednesday, the Royals finally exhibited flashes of the brilliance and excellent co-ordination that was long expected of them. Gone were the error-riddled games that they played in their 21-24 shocker of a loss to the Warriors at New Delhi. This time they were ready for the challenge and attacked from the word go. They won three of their sets – men’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s singles while the two they lost – mixed doubles and legends’ singles – were close ones. But what stood out was the changed body language of the entire team. They looked refreshed and rejuvenated and hungry for a win. Most importantly, they were thoroughly enjoying themselves on the court again.Here's a look at their best moments from the home leg:
#1 Marin Cilic was the star of the show during the win
2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic was the star of the show as he carried the team to two set wins on Wednesday.
Putting behind the setback in each of the three doubles sets he had played till then, Cilic came out firing in the singles against Warriors’ Philipp Kohlschreiber. He thundered eight winners, won 100% of the net points and broke his German opponent twice. That helped him get a 6-3 win for the Royals.
The Croat also paired up with Daniel Nestor for a close win in the men’s doubles against Japan’s solid team of Leander Paes and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. It was a tough contest as the Indo-French combine refused to give up, but the Royals duo held their nerve well to come through 7-2 in the shootout.
The third set in that tie that went in favour of the hosts was delivered by Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman put up a determined show and exhibited her quick reflexes to outclass her Belgian opponent, Kirsten Flipkens 6-2.