Manila, 7 December 2015 – Rafael Nadal’s debut in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) on Monday (December 7) was met with thunderous cheers and screams as the Spaniard led the Indian Aces in Day 2 of the IPTL Manila leg in SM Mall of Asia Arena beating UAE Royals 30 games to 18.
The game opener was a mixed double between Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza of the Aces who both scored 6-4 against the Royale pair of Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladevonic. In the second set, Ana Ivanovic had too many double faults and unforced errors that simply didn’t work against the Aces Samantha Stosur who displayed remarkable backhand giving her team another victory.
Goran Ivanisevic played a more serious tennis this year compared to his playful and sometimes comedic show in last year’s IPTL leg also held in Manila. The celebrated Tennis star from Croatia, however, failed to demolish Fabrice Santoro and also ended the match with 6-3.
The crowd gave another reason for the Aces to up their performance when Nadal played men’s doubles with Ivan Dodig and the pair beat Daniel Nestor and Tomas Berdych with the same score at 6-3. Nadal was visibly enjoying the crowd support as he went on for the final set for men’s single against Tomas Berdych who forced a shootout after both players scored 5 points each. Nadal started slow with 3-0 in favour of Berdych who was serving some aces until Nadal went for rally shots and aces ending the match with a win and lots of grin at 7-3.
After a 30-minute break, the second game between Philippine Mavericks and Japan Warriors started with Mark Philippoussis of the host country team easy win against Thomas Enqvist scoring 6-2 in less than 20 minutes.
However, it wasn’t easy for Maverick’s Richard Gasquet in the men’s single match. Gasquet was at the receiving end of Philipp Kohlschereieber’s powerful forehand and only scored 3 against the Japan Warrior’s, 6.
When it was Serena Williams’ turn to show some action in the court, the crowd stood up and started chanting with some male voices shouting “I love you’s” in between and why not, Serena showed off fabulous return shots and powerful serves that gave Maverick’s two wins for mixed doubles and women’s single respectively.
Philippine Mavericks kept the Japan Warriors at bay by scoring, 25-21 even after losing the last match of the day for men’s double between Fil-American Treat Huey and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of the Mavericks against Leaner Paes and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
When Serena was asked during the short break about the Filipino crowd she replied that she “loves playing for Mavericks, I’m a Maverick and I’m proud!” and the fans once again screamed with delight.
Catch Day 3 of IPTL Manila at SM Mall of Arena today!
Qatar Airways is a proud presenter of the International Premier Tennis League – Asia 2015.
Get a chance to win an Economy Class ticket to ANY QATAR AIRWAYS DESTINATION! To join, simply visit the QATAR Airways booth located at the 2nd Floor of the MOA Arena and follow their simple mechanics!
Written by: Jenny Bugarin
Photos by: Mae Ilagan
To know the happenings during Day 1, visit: www.wheninmanila.com/iptl-singapore-slammers-philippine-mavericks-win-opening-match-in-manila-leg/