ANA Ivanovic said she is looking forward to her marquee match against Maria Sharapova in the women’s singles of the International Premier Tennis League Manila leg on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Manila Mavericks play their second tie of the Manila leg against the Indian Aces where the singles match between two of the most popular women netters in the world is scheduled to be played at 7:30 p.m.
Also set to play for the Mavericks are Andy Murray, who will face Gale Monfils in the men’s singles, and Filipino netter Treat Huey who will team up with Jo Wilfred Tsonga against Monfils and Bopanna in the men’s doubles.
Manila’s Kirsten Flipkins and Daniel Nestor then battle Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles before Carlos Moya takes on Fabrice Santoro in the legends singles.
Ivanovic said she is excited to face Sharapova but expects the Russian world No. 2 to have the support of the crowd while playing for the 'home' team.
“It’s going to be exciting. I think it’s going to be spectacular playing against the home team. It’s going to be lots of fun. I hope the crowd will get involved,” said Ivanovic.
Usually playing against each other in the WTA Tour, Ivanovic said she is also excited to see how she will fare against the major champion in an IPTL format where the women’s singles is just one of the five ‘sets’ of the tie.
“It will be interesting to see to play with her in this format and see how it works,” said Ivanovic, who is currently ranked No. 5 in the world.
The Serbian netter paced the Aces in their 26-16 win over the Singapore Slammers after a 6-0 win over Daniela Hantuchova and later heaped praise on the crowd.
“They were into the match. They were cheering us all. It was great to see. It was almost full. Tomorrow, it’s going to be more exciting,” said Ivanovic.
Although she has a tight schedule, Ivanovic said he is hoping to get the time to tour Manila. She did, however, got to taste a Filipino dessert, likely a rice cake, in the hotel.
“I did try. It was a sweet rice thing with a coconut on it. I don’t know what it’s called. It’s almost like a pancake,” said Ivanovic.