THE Philippine Mavericks began their International Premier Tennis League Season 2 campaign on the wrong foot, barely surrendering a 26-24 decision to Singapore on Thursday night at the Kobe World Hall in Japan.
The Mavericks engaged the Slammers in a nip-and-tuck affair as they split their first four sets, before the Singapore representative turned to Nick Kyrgios in the men’s singles, where he beat IPTL rookie Milos Raonic, 6-4, to close out the match.
It had been a rousing start for the Philippines as Mark Philippoussis edged Carlos Moya, 6-4, in the men’s legends singles, the opening match in Day Two of the first leg of the innovative competition.
After Mavericks star Serena Williams lost to Karolina Pliskova, 6-4, in the women’s singles, the Mavericks’ Richard Gasquet and Edouard Roger-Vasselin nipped the tandem of Marcelo Melo and Dustin Brown, 6-4, in the men’s doubles to take the lead anew.
But Melo and Belinda Bencic edged Roger Vasselin and Jarmila Gajdosva in a mixed doubles match that ended in another 6-4 score to even the count again.
That set the stage for the decider where Kyrgios beat IPTL newbie Raonic, who dipped his feet in a faster-paced style of play.
“I’m somebody who usually likes to take his time in between points, so it will take a little time getting used to, but I’m sure it’ll get better,” Raonic said.