The UAE Royals got back to winning ways with a convincing victory over Singapore Slammers on the third day of the Coca-Cola IPTL tournament in Manila.
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic got her team off to a perfect start with a narrow 6-5 victory over Czech star Karolina Pliskova before 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic rolled back the years with a vintage display against former World No.1 Carlos Moya, defeating the Spaniard 6-4 in the second set.
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Although both teams traded victories in the mixed and men’s doubles respectively, Tomas Berdych wrapped up the fifth set and a 26-23 win for the Royals in a bruising encounter with Australian Nick Kyrgios.
— IPTL (@iptl) December 8, 2015
“It was important for us to win today, to get our confidence back, to find our rhythm,” Croatian star Ivanisevic admitted post-match, before the tournament moves onto Delhi in India for the next leg.
“The last two matches, we were badly beaten by the Mavericks and the Aces, and the team was desperate for a win today. It’s a tough competition, even if you lose the match, it’s important to win as many games as possible since every game counts.
“The team is working really hard, its very competitive and clearly nobody wants to lose… you want to win it for the team, and that’s what’s great about the IPTL! I’m the oldest legend in the IPTL, at 44 its hard but I’m loving the competition, and I want to win it for my team.”
David Ferrer, one of the six players who will make up the star-studded line up for this year’s annual Mubadala World Tennis Championship, will be looking to start this New Year as he did last year – in winning form.
The pacey Spaniard, renowned as one of the most agile players in the world today, took his first win of 2015 in January in Qatar and has gone on to win every final he has played since.
A regular in Abu Dhabi, having competed at the season-opening Mubadala World Tennis Championship four times already, Ferrer has reached the final in the capital twice but the coveted title has evaded him each time.
With a 5-0 record in finals in 2015, the Spaniard will be hoping his winning streak continues in Abu Dhabi.
Commenting ahead of his return to the capital, he said: “I started my season by winning in the Middle East in 2015 and I will be aiming to do the same thing in 2016.
Competing in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is very important for me and I am always excited to play in Abu Dhabi.
“I have a lot to play for in 2016, a lot of goals to reach and the focus is always to improve on the previous year.
As an athlete there is always a danger of switching off between major tournaments so being able to compete at a high level at this stage of the year is exactly what is needed to help find the right form going into the year ahead,” he added.
— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) December 6, 2015
The current world number 7 has been a regular in the top 4 over the last couple of years and the 33 year old proved that age is nothing but a number this season when he took an impressive 26th ATP World Tour title and finished inside the top eight to reach the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Ferrer has his work cut out for him though, as he will be facing an in-form Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening match of the tournament on December 31st 2015 at 4pm.
Although Ferrer is 3-1 up in the head to head battle between the two, it will be a spectacular opening game and one for the fans to look forward to.
This year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi will run over the New Year, adding an extra level of excitement to the tournament’s eighth instalment.
— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) December 3, 2015
Ferrer joins Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who have all booked their place in the extremely competitive event which signifies the start of the global tennis season, and often gives tennis fans around the world an early indication to who will be the main players through the year ahead.
The Mubadala World Tennis Championship will take place from the 31st December – 2nd January 2016 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City. For those fans who do not want to miss out on the action, tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores, or by calling 800 TMUAE (86 823) or +971 4 3662289 for International calls.
GP race ticket holders can benefit from a 20% discount on Category 2 tickets for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2016 through the Y1 Access program.
Tennis fans in Dubai are in for a treat as it was announced that Obi UAE Royals’ Roger Federer will fight it out against Andy Murray from the Oue Singapore Slammers during the Dubai leg of the second International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
The encounter will be played on December 15 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
Federer enjoyed a fruitful 2015, making it to the finals of Wimbledon and US Open, ending the year with a 63-11 record and six titles. Murray, on the other hand, made it to one major final – Australian Open – and had a record of 71-14 with four tiles.
“Federer is one the greatest tennis superstars to have ever played and the hard court surface of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium provides us a significant competitive advantage,” said Neelesh Bhatnagar, co-owner of the Obi UAE Royals.
“He is currently the defending men’s single’s champion in Dubai and has the accolades, knowledge and skill set to perform at superior levels in this venue.”
“Furthermore, having two of the top three tennis superstars in the world compete in Dubai strengthens the nation’s drive to make this country a prime destination for top sporting competition.”
The UAE’s only tennis franchise team consists of Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Daniel Nestor, Goran Ivanisevic, Ana Ivanovic and Kristina Mladenovic.
The other teams that will fight for glory this year are Micromax Indian Aces, Legendari Japan Warriors and Philippine Mavericks.
— IPTL (@iptl) December 5, 2015
Tickets for the 2015 IPTL are now available at http://platinumlist.net. In addition, official banking partner Emirates NBD has announced a special discount of 15 per cent to all cardholders for the purchase of the IPTL Dubai leg tickets.
Meanwhile, actions kicks off on the Manila leg of the IPTL today with the UAE Royals at the top of the table.
The UAE team won both their matches in the opening leg and have the best winning percentage among the five sides.