Serena thanks ‘amazing’ crowd’ in Manila IPTL | Inquirer Sports

Serena thanks ‘amazing’ crowd’ in Manila IPTL

/ 12:00 AM December 02, 2014

SERENA Williams chases a shot and nearly hits a linesman. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

SERENA Williams chases a shot and nearly hits a linesman. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Serena Williams never thought she has fans in this part of the world.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion was all praises for the Filipino crowd.


“The reception of the crowd is amazing,” said Williams, also a 13-time Grand Slam doubles winner and four-time Olympic champion. “Everyone’s so nice. Just warming up and hearing the crowd was spectacular and unexpected.”


Williams was cheered on even if her Singapore Slammers team was playing the Manila Mavericks Sunday night in the International Premier Tennis League at Mall of Asia Arena.

She won her singles match against Kirsten Flipkens, 6-4, hours after her Mavericks teammate and crowd darling Maria Sharapova left Manila.

But the Mavericks, buoyed by Andy Murray’s twin victories, prevailed, 27-19.
Based on the matches won and bonus points, the Mavericks are in third place after the Manila leg with seven points. The Indian Aces showed the way with 12 followed by the United Arab Emirates Royals with 10. The Slammers are in fourth with 4 points.

For the local fans who found their love of tennis rekindled over the weekend, IPTL founder and managing director Mahesh Bhupati said the league will be back in Manila.

Bhupati said the recent Manila leg “set the bar high” for the next three legs of the breakthrough event and that tennis fans should look forward to more of the feast.

“The tennis will be back,” Bhupati said. “We are not planning to move or juggle the cities. If we add cities, it’ll be an addition to what’s already here.”


Murray finally got his game going Sunday night, winning his last two matches for the Mavericks including a thrilling five-minute shootout with Australian hotshot Nick Kyrgios of the Slammers.

Murray erased a 3-5 deficit and then forced a shootout where he zoomed to a 4-0 lead with three minutes to go. Kyrgios tried to catch up but time ran out.

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TAGS: IPTL, Serena Williams, Tennis

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