Indian Aces sailed past Singapore Slammers 26-16 in the inaugural match of the much talked about International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Manila on Friday.
The evening started with mixed-doubles tie of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza (Aces), who were up against the Slammers pairing of Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova.
After being broken early, Soares and Hantuchova broke back but the clever shot-making of Bopanna and Mirza ultimately gave them the one-off set 6-4.
Next up was past champions singles match between Fabrice Santoro, representing Aces, and Australian legend Patrick Rafter. It turned out to be league’s first shootout at 5-5 in the set, which Santoro won with little difficulty.
For Slammers, the lone success of the day came in the men's doubles where Tomas Berdych and Nick Kyrgios beat Bopanna and Gael Monfils 5-2.
Former world no.1 Ana Ivanovic then hammered Daniela Hantuchova 6-0 in the women's singles to give Aces further cushion.
The men's singles was played between Monfils and former world no.1 Lleyton Hewitt. The Frenchman 6-1.
Later in the day, UAE Royals mauled home side Manila Mavericks 29-24.
Ivanovic was encouraged to see a decent crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"It was great to see and made the match more exciting. I am really happy to spend time with all of the players on the team bench. The team spirit is great, we laugh a lot and make jokes and really support each other during points.
"It is very interesting to get into the team spirit because we don't get it that much in tennis because we are always traveling," said the Serbian.
Image: Ana Ivanovic of the Indian Aces celebrates a point against Daniela Hantuchova of the Singapore Slammers during the International Premier Tennis League at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for IPTL 2014