Defending champions Indian Aces bounced back in style to beat Singapore Slammers 27-20 and record their second successive win in the Japan leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) season 2 in Kobe.
In an evenly contested match, both teams were tied at two sets apiece with the decisive men’s singles to follow.
Aces' ace singles player Gael Monfils had to sit out with a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Ivan Dodig to face Nick Kyrgios.
Dodig proved too hot for the Australian, securing the set 6-3. The fifth set saw plenty of lobs and leaps with Kyrgios determined not to let any shot pass him through.
Earlier, the match started with a classic encounter with legends of the game in action – Fabrice Santoro of Aces taking on former world number one Carlos Moya.
In a thrilling encounter that reached 5 games all and after 6-6 in the tie-break, it was Moya's winning stroke that gave Slammers the lead.
Slammers extended their advantage in the women's singles with Karolina Pliskova defeating Samantha Stosur 6-4.
Aces fought back through Rohan Bopanna and Dodig, who got the better of Marcelo Melo and Dustin Brown in the men's doubles.
Staying on the court with Sania Mirza, Bopanna won it yet again for the Aces by brushing aside Belinda Bencic and Melo 6-3 in the mixed doubles.
Philippine Mavericks beat Japan Warriors
Later in the day, Philippine Mavericks defeated home team Japan Warriors 28-24 for their first win of the season.
The mixed doubles pairing of Serena Williams and Treat Huey outplayed Leander Paes and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3 to hand Mavericks the early advantage.
In the men's doubles, Richard Gasquet and Eduardo Roger-Vasselin had to dig deep against Paes and Pierre-Hugues Herbert before taking the set 6-5 in a tie-break.
Milos Raonic also needed a tie-break to overcome the challenge posed by home hero Kei Nishikori in the men's singles.
After the third set, Mavericks enjoyed an 18-13 lead over Warriors.
It was now time for the legend's singles with Mark Philippoussis taking on Marat Safin. The fourth set too went into a tie-break with the Australian winning 6-5.
An almost unthinkable happened for Warriors to win a set in the match. And it happened in the fifth and final set where world number 81 Kurumi Nara stunned world number one Serena Williams 6-4. Their on court battle lasted 30 minutes.
The next leg of IPTL takes place in Manila from Sunday.
Image: Serena Williams & Treat Huey of Philippine Mavericks celebrate after beating Japan Warriors' Leander Paes and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni