Millennium Post

Delhi off to Dream start

Delhi off to Dream start
Delhi Dreams defeated Punjab Marshalls 3-2 in a hard-fought opening tie of the inaugural Champions Tennis League (CTL) tournament at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) Complex on Monday.

In a tournament where the number of games won by teams would determine the outcome of a tie, hosts Delhi claimed 25 games as against Punjab’s 19. They won three of the five sub-contests. Delhi won the legends singles match 6-1 and the women’s singles match 6-5 (3) while Punjab claimed the mixed doubles contest 6-3 and the men’s doubles match 6-4 to tantalisingly set up the tie at 2-2. Kevin Anderson gave the home team victory in the tie, outplaying Somdev Devvarman in the singles contest 6-1.

In the first match, legends Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero of home team Delhi Dreams faced Punjab Marshalls’ Briton Greg Rusedski, with the hosts winning 6-1. Rusedski had trouble with his serve throughout the match and was thrice broken to accept defeat in 20 minutes.

Former French Open champion Ferrero broke Rusedski in the third game of the one-set match after both held their first service games to take a 2-1 lead and then went on to win the contest clinching four straight games. The visitors squared the contest 1-1 in the next match with Punjab’s mixed doubles pair of Leander Paes and Garbine Muguruza defeating Delhi’s Kevin Anderson and Jelena Jankovic 6-3. Paes-Muguruza raced to a 3-0 lead after breaking the Anderson-Jankovic pair in their first service game. And even though Anderson-Jankovic held on to their remaining serves, they just couldn’t break their opponents serve, going down 3-6.

In the next match, world no.15 Jelena Jankovic needed all her experience in the tournament’s nine-point tie-breaker to beat Muruguza 6-5 (3) and give back Delhi the lead 2-1. Muruguza broke Jankovic in the third game of the match to lead 2-1 but Jankovic broke back immediately to make it 2-2. But Jankovic failed to maintain the momentum, and was broken again in her serve to go down 2-3.

Muruguza held on to her serve to go ahead 4-2. Just when it looked like Muruguza had done enough to claim the match, Jankovic, using all her experience, broke back to square the contest 4-4 and carried forward from there to clinch the tie-breaker 5-3.

Punjab fought back in the men’s doubles match with Paes-Devvarman edging out Anderson-Sanam Singh 6-4 in a tight contest. In the tie-deciding fifth match, Anderson completely dominated Devvarman from the beginning, breaking the Indian twice and quickly building up a 5-1 lead, ultimately winning 6-1 to clinch the match and the contest.
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