Wawrinka's late show helps Singapore Slammers lift IPTL league title

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The Singapore Slammers celebrate victory.

Stan Wawrinka may have only joined at the very end of the IPTL season, but the Swiss’ late contribution certainly helped the Singapore Slammers win the league title on Sunday.

The Slammers beat defending champions the Indian Aces 26-21 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with Wawrinka defeating Bernard Tomic in singles, and teaming up with Marcelo Melo to down Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig in doubles.

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Belinda Bencic, who received the MVP award for the league (Dodig took the men’s MVP), beat Svetlana Kuznetsova – a late addition to the aces, while Carlos Moya took advantage of a returning Fabrice Santoro, who had been out with the flu. Sania Mirza and Bopanna gave the Aces the only set victory of the day against Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova.

The Aces had entered the final at the top of the league standings with eight wins from 11 matches but the Slammers capitalised on the support of the home crowd to pull off the upset and take the title of the second season of the IPTL.

“It was a great experience,” said two-time major champion Wawrinka.

 

“We have won the title for 2015. I was lucky to arrive just for the last match, the team won many before so I just tried to help them the last few days. It was great fun, the atmosphere was great and hopefully I will come back next year. Hopefully we can come back next year as a team. They come for the two weeks and I come for the last two days. But for me it was great to arrive and play the finals.”

Season two of the IPTL saw the competition stretch across five cities over 18 days. League founder and managing director Mahesh Bhupathi was thrilled with the progress the event has made in just its sophomore year.

“Just in terms of global broadcast, last year we were in 108 countries, this year we’re in 154. We could make out from the stands, the crowds – a lot of people thought that the first day in Singapore was the Roger Federer effect but the last two days (without Federer) have been as packed if not more. I think it’s testimony to the format and the entertaining, world-class tennis. We’re looking forward to bringing it back every year,” Bhupathi said in Singapore on Sunday.

Australian Kyrgios put his differences with Wawrinka aside for the last leg of the event.

The winning team earned $1million while the Aces took $500,000 for their runner-up showing.

The UAE Royals, headlined by Federer, had finished third in the league standings and were unable to qualify for the final.

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