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UAE Royals post a convincing win over Singapore Slammers in IPTL opener

Ivanisevic turned back the clock with a vintage performance (Photo Courtesy: thenational.ae)
Ivanisevic turned back the clock with a vintage performance. (Photo Courtesy: thenational.ae)

The UAE Royals overcame a stiff challenge from the Singapore Slammers in Kobe in the opening match of the 2015 edition of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) to post a 26-20 victory.

Former World number 1 Ana Ivanovic played a stellar opener against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic to get her team off to the perfect start in the women’s singles. It only took 25 minutes for the Grand Slam winner to dispatch Bencic 6-3. She did not even require the Power Point in her crushing win.

However, the Slammers rebounded quickly through Australia’s Nick Kyrgios who vanquished Tomas Berdych 6-2. The temperamental Kyrgios proved too much to handle for a rusty Berdych. The Aussie fired in 4 aces with his powerful serve to seal the men’s singles.

Berdych teamed up with Daniel Nestor of Canada to edge Marcelo Melo and Dustin Brown 6-5 in a tantalizing encounter doubles. Despite smashing in more winners than their opponents, the Brazilian-German pair were unable to cross the line against a more experienced pair.

Nestor continued his impressive form by winning the mixed doubles contest with France’s Kristina Mladenovic. They triumphed 6-3 against the pairing of Melo and Karolina Pliskova to ensure that the Royals went into the legends singles with a hefty lead.

In the most awaited encounter of the day, which pitted Goran Ivanisevic against Carlos Moya, the towering Croatian defeated the Spaniard with his superior net-play. He repeatedly pulled Moya out of his comfort zone and volleyed with astounding accuracy to send the crowd into raptures.

The only person to win a men’s singles Grand Slam on a wild card, the veteran Ivanisevic showed off his maverick skills to supersede the erstwhile ‘King of Clay’ and ensure that the UAE Royals were off to a flying start in the Japanese leg of the IPTL.

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