The action resumed in Bangalore with the Hyderabad Aces facing Bangalore Raptors in the second match of the day. Their last encounter in Hyderabad was a close one, with the Aces edging out the tie 26-24. But Bangalore failed to use their home court advantage effectively, and came out on the losing end once again.
Here is how the action unfolded at the KSLTA stadium.
Legends’ singles: Philipoussis triumphs after sensational comeback
In the legends match we saw Tomas Enqvist take on Mark Philipoussis. It was another tight set between the Australian and the Swede, as both players held their serve in the opening game. It was Enqvist two drew first blood, breaking Philipoussis to take a 3-1 lead. However, the former World No. 8 managed to break back and bring the set back on serve at 3-4.
There was no looking back for Philipoussis from there, as he broke the former Australian Open finalist once again and held his serve to win the set 6-4.
Mixed doubles: Lopez the star yet again for the Raptors
The Bangalore crowd were somewhat stunned after witnessing their team legend Enqvist defeated despite having a healthy lead in the first set. The onus was on the shoulders of superstars Venus Williams and Feliciano Lopez to get the home team up and running again.
With four world class players taking on each other, a very close game was expected. And as it turned out, a single break was enough for the Raptors to take the match.
The break came in the sixth game, after which the Raptors held a 4-2 lead. Williams served a shaky service game right after, and despite two double faults, the American-Spanish duo managed to hold thanks to some excellent volleying by Lopez.
With the win, Bangalore Raptros edged ahead of the Hyderabad Aces 10-9 on games.
Women’s singles: Hingis sweeps aside her old nemesis in a one-sided affair
In what could be called one of the biggest matches of the tournament, two of the most successful tennis players ever – Venus Williams and Martina Hingis – faced each other for the second time in the week.The two have won 12 singles and 22 doubles Grand Slam titles between them.
Hingis had beaten Williams in Hyderabad, and it looked to be a similar story in Bangalore. An early service break and a hold took the three-time Australian Open champion to a 2-0 lead.
Williams was struggling on serve and Hingis showed no mercy. Another break gave Hingis a 5-0 lead, which left the American far behind in the set. Williams managed to break the Hingis serve to get on the scorecard, but couldn’t hold her serve yet again as Hingis won the tie 6-1.
With the huge victory, the Hyderabad Aces led the Bangalore Raptors by 15-11 games.
Men’s doubles: Youzhny and Nedunchezhiyan do just enough to edge ahead
The Raptors went into the match with just one aim: reducing the deficit on the Aces. World No. 14 Lopez partnered Indian youngster Ramkumar Ramanathan for the Raptors while Mikhail Youzhny and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan stepped on the court for the Aces.
An extremely tight contest saw the Raptors struggle to break the Aces’ serve. With no breaks, the match headed into the first tiebreak of the clash. It was just not Raptor’s night, as the local favourites fell 4-5 in the tiebreak.
Despite the huge support from the crowd, Lopez and Ramanathan were unable to give them a lot to cheer about. Hyderabad won the set 6-5 and held a strong 21-16 lead with just one set to go.
Men’s singles: Aces’ lead too big despite lopez’s best efforts
With the Hyderabad Aces so far ahead, Lopez had had his work cut out for him. But he did the best he could, managing to hold his serve throughout the set and even breaking Youzhny in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead.
Lopez held his serve to make it 6-3,which once again took the tie into overtime (the Aces were leading in games won at this stage, but they hadn’t clinched the tie because they hadn’t won the last game). The Russian managed to hold his nerve and win the breaker to grab victory for the Hyderabad Aces.
Key match stats
Hyderabad Aces won the tie 25-22, dropping two sets out of the five. With the win, the Aces completed the double over the Raptors after having previously beaten them 27-25 in Hyderabad. Led ably by Mikhail Youzhny and Martina Hingis, the visiting team proved to be too hot to handle for the Raptors, even in the latter’s own backyard.
Originally published on the Champions Tennis League website here.