IPTL: Indian Aces beat UAE Royals for 3rd straight win
Indian Aces registered their third successive victory in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), defeating UAE Royals 28-20 at the Mall of Asia Arena here on Sunday.
UAE coach John Laffnie de Jager won the toss and elected to receive and in the first encounter, Kristina Mladenovic beat Aces’ Ana Ivanovic 6-4. Ivanovic gave a spirited display despite being down 1-5.
Experienced mixed doubles pair Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna notched a 6-3 win in the second set over Mladenovic and Nenad Zimonjic to equalise for the Aces.
Later, Bopanna partnered with Gael Monfils to victory over Zimonjic and Marin Cilic 6-4 in the men’s doubles third set. This win gave the Aces a 2-1 lead, which increased to 3-1 following Monfils’ 6-3 win over Malek Jaziri, who replaced injured Marin Cilic.
“I love this format. This suits me well. I love the team atmosphere. We had fun out there. Actually we’re good friends - Ana, Sania - we grew up together. It’s a good competition because we are having fun,” Monfils said.
In the fifth and final set, Aces’ coach-cum-player Fabrice Santoro defeated Goran Ivanisevic 6-4 to win the past champions’ tie. “I will remember the hospitality and how many people love tennis here and are happy to see the best champions in the world and if you ask the crowd they will want to have this back again next year,” Santoro, nicknamed ‘The Magician’, said after the victory.