IPTL: UAE Royals pull off last gasp 26-25 win over Manila Mavericks
The second match of the night in the Dubai leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) was between Musafir.com UAE Royals and Manila Mavericks; this was Match 20 of the tournament.
The Royals got off to a strong start in the match but Manila Mavericks made a stirring comeback to take it down to the wire. The final set was to decide the fate of the match and the UAE Royals dug deep and found that something extra that won them the match and helped them close the lead on the Indian Aces at the top of the table.
Women’s singles: Caroline Wozniacki (UAE Royals) vs Kirsten Flipkens (Manila Mavericks)
The former World No. 1 Wozniacki got the Royals off to a sublime start. The Danish tennis player did not let the Belgian settle down, and she used her experience to good measure.
Wozniacki was expected to win the set, but the way she won was unprecedented. She did not give Flipkens an inch the entire time. She played some fantastic strokes and made her opponent run all over the court.
Wozniacki raced to a 5-1 lead and held her serve to seal the win with the scoreboard reading 6-2.
Result: Wozniacki (UAE Royals) beat Flipkens (Manila Mavericks) 6-2.
Legends’ singles: Goran Ivanisevic (UAE Royals) vs Mark Philippoussis (Manila Mavericks)
Trailing 2-6 after the first set, the Mavericks needed some magic from the legend, Philippoussis. The Australian played a brilliant set and broke the Croat, Goran Ivanisevic, in the third game of the set without letting the server win a single point.
Ivanisevic did well to come back into the set and level it at 4-4, but Philippoussis broke back and was serving for the set. The Croat used all his strength and energy to break back and take the set to the shootout.
There was a bit of controversy in the shootout when the umpire was not ready for a point with time ticking away, but prior to that Philippoussis had raced away to an 8-4 lead in the shootout and never gave Ivanisevic a chance and won the set.
Result: Ivanisevic (UAE Royals) lost to Philippoussis (Manila Mavericks) 5-6.
Men’s singles: Novak Djokovic (UAE Royals) vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Manila Mavericks)
The World No. 1 lost to the Frenchman in dramatic fashion. The UAE crowd were delighted to see Novak on the court displaying some amazing tennis along with Tsonga. However, they were unable to witness a win for the Serbian as Tsonga beat Djokovic in a tightly-contested match.
Djokovic broke Tsonga in the first game and held serve to take a 2-0 lead, but Tsong broke back and took the lead at 4-3.
This set too went into the shootout and the Frenchman hit a brilliant backhand down the line to take a 2-0 lead. He wrapped up the set, with an 8-4 shootout win.
Result: Djokovic (UAE Royals) lost to Tsonga (Manila Mavericks) 6-5.
Mixed doubles: Nenad Zimonjic/Kristina Mladenovic (UAE Royals) vs Daniel Nestor/Kirsten Flipkens (Manila Mavericks)
The Mavericks were slowly decreasing the lead that Caroline Wozniacki had given the Royals. Daniel Nestor and Kirsten Flipkens continued the momentum and got Manila Mavericks their third consecutive set win to tie the overall match score at 20-20.
The set was tied at 4-4 when the Mavericks pair broke the Royals’ duo and held serve without losing a point to win the Mixed Doubles set.
Result: Zimonjic/Mladenovic (UAE Royals) lost to Nestor/Flipkens (Manila Mavericks) 4-6.
Men’s doubles: Nenad Zimonjic/Marin Cilic (UAE Royals) vs Daniel Nestor/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Manila Mavericks)
Fresh from his defeat in the Mixed Doubles, Zimonjic paired up with Marin Cilic to take on Daniel Nestor and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had beaten World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Men’s Singles earlier.
The two teams were toe-to-toe throughout the set as neither player was willing to let his serve break. They held serve till 5-5 and the match was tied at 25-25 and had to be decided in the third consecutive shootout of the match.
Zimonjic was in no mood to lose his second set of the match and he displayed electric form as he executed a flawless shootout alongside Cilic for the UAE Royals. The Serbian and Croatian pair won against the French-Canadian partnership of Tsonga and Nestor 8-6 in the shootout to win the match for UAE Royals, 26-25.
Result: Zimonjic/Cilic (UAE Royals) beat Nestor/Tsonga (Manila Mavericks) 6-5.