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Winning streak over: Aces send Mavs to worst loss in IPTL history

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After taking four straight victories, the Philippine Mavericks suffered a rude welcome in India in a drubbing from the hosts and defending champions Micromax Indian Aces, 12-30, Thursday evening at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India.

Serena Williams and Milos Raonic took a break from IPTL action for this leg. Without the two, the Philippine Mavericks struggled the entire night.

Hometown heroes Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza started the rout for the Aces with a 6-2 win in the mixed doubles set. Treat Huey and new partner, Ajla Tomljanovic, succumbed to the overall court control of the Indians. Bopanna and Mirza had 13 winners and only two unforced errors, against the measly four winners of the Mavericks pair.

In the women’s singles set, former world number two Agnieszka Radwanska made her impressive debut in the IPTL 2 with a 6-1 drubbing of Jarmila Gajdosova. Radwanska had a whopping 72% first serve percentage and won 12 of them. The 12 unforced errors from Gajdosova spelled her demise, as the Pole took the second set for the Aces.

Fabrice Santoro continued the domination for the Aces after taking one back against Mark Philippoussis, 6-1, in the men’s legends’ singles set. Santoro dictated the pace with 63% first serve percentage. Philippoussis had five winners against Santoro, but he was doomed by his 16 unforced errors.

The Mavericks finally made a good account of themselves in the men’s doubles set by keeping the frame close. Nevertheless, Rafael Nadal and Bopanna shook off the challenge of Huey and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-4. The two pairs served impeccably well, 80% for the Aces and 84% for the Mavericks, and both duos successfully converted them to their own points. It went down to that single break for Nadal and Bopanna to seal the set.

After suffering a heartbreaking defeat just two nights before, Nadal took the victory in the men’s singles set this time with another close 6-4 win over Roger-Vasselin. The former world number one shrugged off an error-filled set with timely winners. Unlike the doubles set, both Nadal and Roger-Vasselin were able to break the other’s service game. However, Nadal’s solitary break advantage was enough to propel the Aces and secure the sweep for the Indian Aces.

Nadal said that he was looking forward to the marquee match-up between him and Federer tomorrow. “I will give it my best. The format is so quick, and everything moves so fast,” he said. “But I am looking forward to playing against Federer on Saturday!”

The Philippine Mavericks will try to bounce back from the “worst loss in IPTL history,” later today at the same venue as the Mavericks face the Singapore Slammers 6:30pm Philippine time.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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