THE Philippine Mavericks completed a sweep of the Manila leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) Season 2 as they outlasted the Indian Aces, 25-24, on Tuesday night to the delight of the home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The two teams split their first four sets to set the stage for a thrilling finale in the men’s singles where Milos Raonic showed steely nerves in the shootout to frustrate crowd favorite Rafael Nadal.
“It’s amazing,” Raonic, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist, said. “As the home team, it was an honor to compete here.”
“Three wins at home is incredible,” added legends player Mark Philippoussis, whose team dealt the Aces their first loss in three matches.
The Aces, though, kept the leads in the standings as their hiked thier game win-loss record to 106-89, slightly ahead of the Mavericks (131-113) with still a game on hand.
Philippoussis got the Mavericks off to a great start with a 6-4 win over Fabrice Santoro.
The Aces retaliated with a win in the men’s doubles where Nadal and Ivan Dodig beat Richard Gasquet and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-4.
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna then repulsed Serena Williams and Treat Huey, 6-4, in the mixed doubles as the Aces suddenly went on top.
But the Mavericks equalized anew after Williams overpowered Samantha Stosur, 6-3, in the women’s singles that left the outcome in the hands of Raonic and Nadal.
The five-city tour continues in New Delhi on Thursday.