Mavericks rule Royals in IPTL home debut

Bannered by WTA number one ranked player, Serena Williams, the Philippine Mavericks outclassed league-leading Obi UAE Royals, 29-28. IPTL Photo
By Alex Cerado

PASAY--Bannered by World's No. 1 Serena Williams, the Philippine Mavericks outclassed league-leading Obi UAE Royals, 29-18, in the 2nd leg of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL)  at the Mall of Asia Arena Sunday. 

The crowd-backed Mavericks came out feisty and immediately grabbed the first two matches, 12-6. 

Despite losing the mixed doubles, Williams quickly trounced Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the women's single event, 6-3. 

Tied at 2-apiece, the 21-time grand slam winner went fiery in the eventual play and registered a number of service aces to pull away, 5-3. 

"It was fun playing for the Mavericks. The crowd is fun and cool," the American player said after their highly-anticipated match. 

Ivanovic had no answer until Williams closed the match with another unreturned serve, 6-3. 

The tandem of Williams and Filipino Treat Huey almost pulled off a come-from behind win over Kristina Mlanedovic and Canada's Daniel Nestor yet fell short down the wire, 6-5.

In the race-to-seven deciding set, the Mavericks were leading 6-3 after Williams scored on a down-the-line hit.

But a string of errors from the duo opened the chance for the Royals' combo to tie the game, 6-apiece.

Mlanedovic's soft counter left Huey unprepared to steal the win, 6-5. 
Milos Raonic secured the second game for the Philippines after turning down Tom Berdyck, 6-4.

Raonic's crosscourt attack and a service ace kept him on the driver's seat, 5-3. He later scored on another attack to wrap up the match. 

Richard Gasquet and Edouard Roger-Vasselin tallied the Philippines' fourth win with a 6-3 domination over of Berdych and Nestor of UAE. 

In the first outing, Mavericks' Mark Philippoussis took control of the game through his deadly serves to upset veteran Goran Ivanisevic, 6-2.

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