Tennis Superstars Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal Electrified the Crowd as the Philippine Mavericks edges Micromax Indian Aces

Manila, 8th December 2015: Electrifying tennis is what Manila saw on day 3 of the Coca-Cola IPTL. Two evenly poised teams – if the Mavericks had Serena, the Aces had Nadal. As for the crowd, they simply enjoyed superb tennis all the way, every point, every set! In a match that went right down the wire, and one that could have gone either ways, the home team powered by big-serving Milos Raonic won a thrilling shoot-out to close it at 25-24, winning all three games at home much to the delight of a packed audience at the Mall of Asia Arena!
Match Summary:

– In the legends action, Philippoussis got the better of Magician Santoro today, shooting 6 aces across the net during the set, winning it 6-4 for the home team

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– The visitors, not used to losing, took it away in the men’s doubles with Dodig/Nadal showcasing doubles tennis of the highest order. Nadal with his quick reflexes on the net, and superlative shot-making was the cynosure of all eyes, winning it for the visitors 6-4

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– Mixed doubles was an Aces show all the way, with the experienced Indian pairing of Mirza/Bopanna proving far too superior for Williams/Huey, giving the Aces a 2-1 leading by winning their set 6-3

– Serena Williams proved just why she is such a tennis powerhouse. Winning her set 6-3 for the home team against Samantha, Serena capped her second IPTL stint in fine fashion, promising home fans a come back next year

– In the most-awaited match of the evening, tennis fans welcomed Nadal and Raonic for the singles game. It was a nail-biting match, right till the last point was played. The Mavericks, charged by a very vocal fan base on home turf, and big-serving Raonic, took the set in a cracker of a shoot-out 6-5

What the Players said:

Milos Raonic: “I just played my game, stuck to the plan. With Rafa out there, I knew I had to keep the points short, not let him control the game, and that’s just what I did. It is exciting to play the way we did all three nights in front of home fans, winning all our matches here. We had a great captain in Mark, picking his player rotation the way he did, starting out in exceptional fashion winning the opening set each time, which was very motivating. It’s a great format, very audience-friendly and tv-friendly; we have a great atmosphere in the team, and are looking forward to taking this winning streak into the next leg.”

Rafael Nadal: “I loved the energy out there today. I had my chances, it could have gone either ways, but it was a great match. It was a great afternoon. Great tennis. I had the final point for the Aces but I came back 2 breaks down during the set. And he played great and I missed him by two forehands at the end. But it was great fantastic energy out there and I enjoyed the crowd. I enjoyed playing the doubles too, Ivan is a fantastic doubles player and I play singles well, so it was a good combination.”

On playing in front of home fans in India next, Nadal said, “I am really looking forward to playing in India. I have a part of my foundation there, have a centre in Anantapur. Also I’ve played there in Chennai a few times, I enjoy a lot of fan support in India, so I’m really looking forward to playing there. This visit is also very special to me because few of the children from my foundation will be coming to Delhi to visit the city, to see me play, so I am very happy about that but I’m also very sad to know about the situation in Chennai because of the rains and the floods. It’s very hard to see so many people suffering, and I hope the situation becomes better soon.”

On his tennis and the years ahead, Nadal added, “I’m more than happy to keep on going. And I’m very excited about it. I have the motivation to keep going. For me it doesn’t matter if it takes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 years. I really don’t think about it. I go day by day. I’m happy to be here today. I’m happy with the way I’ve competed in the last 3 months of the season. I’ve achieved in the world of tennis, much more than I’ve ever dreamed. So, I’m going to play until I enjoy this sport and until I’m happy playing. I have the motivation to keep going, to start another year in one month and to keep playing good tennis every day!”

Match Results:

Men’s Singles: Mark Philippoussis def. Fabrice Santoro (6-4)
Mens’s Doubles: Dodig/Nadal def. Gasquet/Roger-Vasselin (6-4)
Mixed Doubles: Mirza/Bopanna def. Williams/Huey (6-3)
Women’s Singles: Serena Williams def. Samantha Stosur (6-3)
Men’s Singles: Milos Raonic def. Rafael Nadal (6-5)