Kobe (Japan): Defending champions Indian Aces eked out a 25-24 win against first-timers Japan Warriors in their opening match of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) Season Two that began here yesterday.
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lose the mixed doubles opening set to Maria Sharapova and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 5-6
Singapore Slammers had sailed past UAE Royals 26-20 in the first match of the season two at the Kobe World Hall. Though debutants Japan Warriors ended up on the losing side, the home team started well with the mixed doubles pairing of Maria Sharapova and Pierre-Hugues Herbert surprising the seasoned Indian duo of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in the opening set, winning it 6-5.
The players were greeted by a packed house that had families, kids and tennis aficionados rooting for their favorite stars. The next set was the women's singles between Sharapova and Samantha Stosur and the Russian trumped the Australian 6-5, giving Warriors a 12-10 advantage.
Now it was the turn of stars of yesteryear, Marat Safin and Fabrice Santoro, who took on each other in legend's singles. Spaniard Santoro prevailed over the Russian 6-2 to take the visitors past Warriors in the overall scoreline. The men's doubles also went to the Indian team as Bopanna and Gael Monfils defeated local Kei Nishikori and doubles specialist Herbert 6-5.