Slammers claim narrow 24-22 win against Warriors in IPTL

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) OUE Singapore Slammers edged out Legendari Japan Warriors 24-22 in an International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) match here on Saturday.

The win kept Slammers and Warriors at their respective positions of third and fifth in the five-franchise standings.

Slammers have now won four of their seven matches while Warriors have only a solitary win after eight contests.

Thomas Enqvist gave Warriors a four-game lead in the legends match, downing former World No.1 Carlos Moya 6-2.

The Swede broke Spaniard Moya early to lead 2-0 and quickly extended the advantage to 4-1. He then held his serve to round off the win smoothly in just 23 minutes.

Leander Paes then took the court accompanied by Kirsten Flipkens against Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova.

The Indo- Belgian pair broke the German-Czech duo first and lead 3-1. But the Slammers produced a quick response to reduce the deficit to 2-3 and then build on the gained momentum to surge ahead 4-3 and serve out the match 6-4 in 27 minutes.

Slammers were trailing 8-10 after the opening two sets and needed inspiration from Swiss Belinda Bencic in the women’s singles against Flipkens.

Bencic started strongly breaking her opponent in the first service game but was promptly broken back. Belinda made it three successive break serves in a row to grab the lead again.

She then held onto her serve to go 3-1 up. Belinda gradually struck up a rhythm and gave no chance to Flipkens closing out the set 6-1 in 19 minutes and providing her team a 14-11 lead.

Warriors needed Paes to pull the men’s doubles match in their favour where he partnered German Philipp Kohlschreiber against Nick Krygios and Marcelo Melo.

The Indo-German went 2-1 ahead after converting their break point opportunity. But they were broken back at 4-4 by the Australia-German pair.

But Paes-Kohlschreiber held their nerves to snatch a narrow 6-4 victory and more crucially bridge the lead to just a single set at 17-18 in 27 minutes.

The fate of the tie rested on the individual capacities of Krygios and Kohlschreiber in men’s singles. The match was evenly contested but the Australian eventually won 6-5 after 32 minutes.

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