All eyes were now on the mixed doubles and much rested on Sania and Rohan Bopanna.
Hyderabad: The Singapore Slammers fired on all cylinders to knock the stuffing out of home favourites Indian Aces and defend their International Premier Tennis League title in style on Sunday night. The Slammers were on song, literally, as they danced their way to grabbing the glittering racket-and-ball trophy at the glitzy Gachibowli Indoor Stadium with a thumping 30-14 verdict in the final.
Carlos Moya won his seventh straight set in the tournament to get the Slammers off to a sterling start in the legends singles against Mark Philippoussis, beating the Aussie 6-4. The Spanish star broke in the third game and then held his serve to edge 3-1 ahead and pile pressure on Philippoussis. The Scud was out of sorts in the match, evident from his visible reluctance to chase balls as Moya created gaps on the court and drilled in winners. Moya closed out the rubber in style, holding his serve at love for the third time to put the spring in Singapore steps.
The women’s singles that followed started on a promising note with Kirsten Flipkens and Kiki Bertens coming out swining. The former broke her Singapore rival in the first game that included a fascinating rally that drew loud cheer but Bertens bounced right back to break her rival in the next game to draw parity. She then gradually got ahead with a break in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Down 3-5, the Aces substituted Flipkens for Sania Mirza who did well to get the game to deuce on Kiki’s serve before the Singapore player clinched the set 6-3.
All eyes were now on the mixed doubles and much rested on Sania and Rohan Bopanna. However, pressure got to the Rio Olympics pair who were broken in the third game on Sania’s serve — a Bopanna shot into the net and a booming winner from Bertens working against them.
Two games later, Bopanna was broken at deuce and then Melo turned the heat on as the Aces slipped to 1-5. In a last ditch attempt, Ivan Dodig replaced Bopanna as a substitute but to no avail as Sania was broken in the seventh game again. Singapore now had a mammoth 17-8 lead in the tie.
That gap kept widening as the men’s doubles team of Nick Kyrgios and Marcelo Melo thrashed Ivan Dodig and Feliciano Lopez 6-2 before Marcos Bhagdatis provided the icing on the cake with a 6-4 verdict against Feliciano Lopez in the men’s singles for a clean sweep that brought curtains on the tournament.