Stellar start from the Indian Aces

The Saitama Super Arena in Japan received the best tennis players of the world on the opening day of this year's Coca-Cola IPTL. On the second match of the day, the Indian Aces, captained by Thomas Enqvist, beat the Japan Warriors 30-17.

2 December 2016: Japan: One of the four original teams of the 2014 season, the Aces were the first ever IPTL Champions, and finished runners-up in the 2015 season. That status gave confidence to a very strong team that features Sania Mirza, Kirsten Flipkens, Rohan Bopanna, Ivan Dodig, Feliciano López and Mark Philippoussis.The Japan Warriors -Kurumi Nara, Jelena Jankovic, Jean-Julien Rojer, Marat Safin and Fernando Verdasco- were always hot on the Indian Aces' heels but they couldn't capitalize on their home ground advantage.

Match highlights:

Kirsten Flipkens made the most of her return to the IPTL with a 6-2 win over Kurumi Nara.
Having represented the Manila Mavericks (now known as Philippine Mavericks) in the first season, Flipkens hit 19 winners against the Japanese.

The Mixed Doubles contest was a thrilling one, decided on a Shoot-Out that also had a Coca-Cola Power Point. The Mirza-Bopanna duo prevailed against Jankovic/Rojer.

The Legends set between Australian Mark Philippoussis and Russian Marat Safin was decided in a couple of points, where the former was more effective than the latter.

Men's Doubles action didn't disappoint either with a great clash between experts but again, the away side got the upper hand as Feliciano López and Ivan Dodig kept the momentum going and denied Jean-Julien Rojer and Fernando Verdasco the win.

The match finished with a Spanish derby between two great friends: Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco.

The Indians made a five out of five with a López win on a Shoot-Out.

What the Players said:

Marat Safin:

"Mark served pretty well. I had a few chances but it is the way it is."

"We finished last last year so hopefully we won't do it again this year. It was just the first day and I think everybody was a little bit nervous. Kurumi was playing under a lot of pressure probably because she wanted to delight the home crowd. I am sure she will be more relaxed during the next matches."

"I want to say thank you to the fans. It is really nice to see people that still remembers you from the old days and they cheer you up no matter if you are winning or losing. They are still there. It is very cute to see."

Mark Philippoussis:
"I am really happy with the way I played today. It was very important to get the points right at the beginning because Marat is a very strong player. I was very pleased with the team outcome and how everybody played."

Photo Credit: PhotoConceirge, Ella Ling: Indian Ace, Sania Mirza in action on Day 1 of
Season 3 of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League.

Stellar start from the Indian Aces

About the Coca-Cola IPTL: Top-level Tennis in Asia:

The Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) brings together current champions, tennis legends and upcoming talent in a format that's never been seen before. Created to fulfil the increasing demand for top-level tennis in Asia, it's the first city-based professional league in the world, played in the respective countries. Four teams participated in the inaugural season that kicked off in 2014 with Micromax Indian Aces walking away as the first ever IPTL winners followed by OUE Singapore Slammers, who took home the trophy in December of 2015.