IPTL: Berdych seals Royals' thrilling win over Slammers | Inquirer Sports

IPTL: Berdych seals Royals’ thrilling win over Slammers

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 06:59 PM December 08, 2015

The UAE Royals' celebrate after winning their match against the Singapore Slammers on Tuesday in the final day of the 2015 IPTL Manila leg at Mall of Asia Arena. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

The UAE Royals’ celebrate after winning their match against the Singapore Slammers on Tuesday in the final day of the 2015 IPTL Manila leg at Mall of Asia Arena. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

World No.5 Tomas Berdych out-duelled Australian star Nick Kyrgios in the final set to seal the UAE Royals’ 26-23 squeaker over the Singapore Slammers in the final day of the 2015 IPTL Manila leg Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Trailing, 30-40, in the ninth game, the 30-year-old Berdych used the Royals’ last powerpoint and scored on a drop shot to clinch the match, 6-4.

“It’s always a pleasure to win especially if it’s the deciding one,” Berdych told reporters.

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Former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic got it going for the Royals after outlasting rising star Karolina Pliskova, 6-5 (7-5) in a shootout in the first set. The Royals, who chalked up their first and only victory in Manila, nearly swept the Slammers with the men’s doubles their only setback.

Kyrgios and Brazilian Marcelo Melo destroyed Berdych and Canadian Daniel Nestor, 6-2, for the Slammers’ only set win.

Goran Ivanisevic followed Ivanovic’s gusty victory after repulsing old rival Carlos Moya, 6-4, in the legends singles.

“We had a good start in Japan and we lost our mojo a little bit,” said the 44-year-old Ivanisevic, who acknowledged being the oldest player in the tournament. “They beat us badly, the Aces and the Mavericks. This is a good win for us to get our rhythm back.”

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After going 2-0 in the first leg of the tournament in Kobe, Japan, the Royals dropped two straight here. They lost to the Philippine Mavericks, 29-18, on Sunday before taking a beating at the hands of the defending champions Indian Aces, 30-18, Monday night.

“We’re back in the fight. It’s a great feeling to finish our match here in Manila,” Berdych said.

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TAGS: 2015 IPTL, IPTL, Nick Kyrgios, Singapore Slammers, Tennis, Tomas Berdych, UAE Royals

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