PH Mavericks edge Aces to finish IPTL Manila leg on high note


Posted at Dec 09 2015 11:28 AM

Manila Mavericks player Serena Williams reacts after scoring against Micromax Indian Aces player Samantha Stosur during their women's singles match in the International Premier Tennis League in Pasay City. Photo by Czar Dancel, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Mavericks wrapped up an impressive campaign on their home court by edging the Indian Aces, 25-24, in the third and final day of the Manila leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Milos Raonic edged 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the final match of the tie to seal the victory for the Mavericks, who finished the Manila leg undefeated.

The Aces held the advantage until the mixed doubles, thanks to the veteran pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza, who outdueled Filipino-American star Treat Huey and world No. 1 Serena Williams, 6-3.

Williams made sure to recover in the women's singles, however, beating Samathan Stosur, 6-3, and setting the stage for Nadal and Raonic's frenetic showdown.

Raonic, bolstered by a vocal crowd, eventually won the shootout, 6-5, to seal the deal for the Mavericks.

(READ: Raonic stuns Nadal in PHI Mavericks' perfect home stand)

"I just played my game and stuck to the plan," said Raonic afterwards. "With Rafa out there, I knew I had to keep the points short, not let him control the game, and that's just what I did."

Thanks to their 3-0 record at home, the Mavericks now stand at 4-1 in the second season of the IPTL.

"It is exciting to play the way we did all three nights in front of home fans, winning all our matches here," said Raonic. "We had a great captain in Mark (Philippoussis), picking his player rotation the way he did, starting out in exceptional fashion, winning the opening set each time, which was very motivation."

"It's a great format, very audience-friendly and TV-friendly," he added. "We have a great atmosphere in the team, and (we) are looking forward to taking this winning streak into the next leg."

In the other tie of the night, the UAE Royals overcame the Singapore Slammers, 26-23, with Tomas Berdych beating Nick Kyrgios in the men's singles to secure the victory.

The IPTL, which started on December 2 in Kobe, Japan, will now move to New Delhi for the third leg starting December 10.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)