IPTL 2015: UAE Royals make dream start, notch thrilling victory over Singapore Slammers

OBI UAE ROYALS VS OUE SINGAPORE SLAMMERS Match 1Kobe: The much-awaited Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League got off to a flying start with the Obi UAE Royals notching an impressive and much applauded first victory as the star-studded league made its debut in Kobe today.

A packed house at the Kobe World Hall, full of families and children, tennis fans young and old, greeted this exciting and fast-paced format of tennis, with cheers from the crowd growing louder and louder as the match went on.

Match Summary:

· Purav Raja won the toss for the Slammers and elected to serve

· The evening started with Ana Ivanovic winning the women’s singles 6-3 over Belinda Bencic to give the Royals a winning start

· Next up in the men’s singles, the power-packed shot making of Tomas Berdych and Nick Kyrgios was a hit with the crowds. Kyrgios won the set convincingly for the Slammers, the only set his team won during the evening

· In the men’s doubles, Berdych/Nestor showcased some brilliant shot-making against the equally clever play of Melo/Brown. Brown, an absolute hit with the fans, returned shot for shot in a closely contested set, with the Royals winning it 6-5

· Mladenovic/Nestor and Ivanisevic showed their class by taking the last 2 sets, mixed doubles and men’s legends singles respectively, with relative ease, giving the Royals a terrific start in season 2 of the IPTL, winning 26 games to 20

What the Players said:

Nick Kyrgios:“I love the IPTL, it’s a great format, its shows what tennis can be. I personally love playing in a team environment, I used to play basketball as a kid, so I love have team-mates around. I’ve been thinking of the IPTL all year round, and it’s the only time when I have so much fun on the tennis courts. We are a completely new team this time, with me being the only Slammer from last year, so in a way I can help the other players in my team. It’s sad we didn’t win today, but there’s still lot more tennis to look forward to in the coming weeks.”

On IPTL’s Japan debut, Kyrgios added, “I love Japan, my sister lives here, I love the culture, the food. Absolute loving it here right now.”

Goran Ivanisevic: “I played the IPTL last year, so I knew what to expect. I trained particularly for it this time since I know it’s going to be tough. Last year we played good tennis, and everyone played to win. This year, it’s going to be more competitive. So I made sure that I come prepared for IPTL.” He added, “We are very happy that we have a new team in the IPTL this year, with Japan joining in. We are very happy to be here in Kobe. I was in Tokyo till Monday. I took the bullet train and came to Kobe on Tuesday, it was very fast, very different for me, and a good experience. All the team mates arrived and today we played!”

Match Scores:

Day 1 | 2nd Dec’15

Match 1 | 4pm

 Home Team


Away Team

Obi UAE Royals

Coach: John-Laffnie De Jager



OUE Singapore Slammers

Coach: Purav Raja


Ana Ivanovic



Belinda Bencic


Tomas Berdych



Nick Krygios


Berdych / Nestor



Melo / Brown


Mladenovic / Nestor



Melo / Pliskova


Goran Ivanisevic



Carlos Moya