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PH Mavs getting better and better at home



Manila, Philippines — One need only look at two sets to see the difference between the Philippine Mavericks’ line-up last year and this year.

Last year, in Day 2 of the International Premiere Tennis League (IPTL) at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the home team lost thoroughly in the mixed doubles with then-Mavericks Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray just avoiding the dreaded “bagel” against Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, 6-1.

This year, in Day 2 of the IPTL Monday night, it was the Philippine Mavericks who overwhelmed in mixed doubles with the pairing of Serena Williams and Milos Raonic beating the Japan Warriors’ Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 6-4.

To quote Raonic at the post-conference presser, “when you have one of the greatest women’s player of all time as your partner, it just makes it easier.”

The presence of Williams has indeed boosted the Mavericks’ performance, but the home team has also benefitted from a more well-rounded line-up with the addition of Raonic, Mark Philippoussis, and Richard Gasquet, on top of last year’s steadying presence Fil-American doubles specialist Treat Huey.

Mavs’ Philippousis won over Thomas Enqvist, 6-2, while Williams got one back over Kurumi Nara, 6-3. The Mavericks lost in the men’s singles and men’s doubles sets, but it was enough to out-duel the Japan Warriors, 25-21 in aggregate, to stay unbeaten on home soil.

Later today, the home team will be up against league leaders and last year’s IPTL champions, the Indian Aces, in a blockbuster finale to the Manila leg of the IPTL.

Watch the Williams-led Philippine Mavericks go against the Rafael Nadal-led Indian Aces later today at 7:30 pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.