Filipino fans shower tennis stars with love in 3-day IPTL event
Manila may be known for its unparalleled passion for basketball, but for the second straight year, Filipinos have shown tennis isn’t too far from the top of their list of favorite sports.
The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) gathered tennis’ top stars in Manila for the second consecutive year and drew big crowds at Mall of Asia Arena.
Cheers rained down on tennis’ biggest stars—from women’s world No.1 Serena Williams and Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal to tennis legends Carlos Moya and Goran Ivanisevic—every time they hit the court.
The players made sure to reciprocate that love and adulation.
“It’s a very wonderful feeling playing here in Manila for the first time in my life,” said Nadal, winner of a record nine French Open titles, after playing his first game here. “You’ve got a fantastic crowd here in the Philippines.”
“I love the crowd here,” said the 21-time Grand Slam champion Williams. “I have such a great time playing in Manila in the IPTL last year and I’m glad to be back here.”
After wrapping up another successful three-day event here, the IPTL leaves for New Delhi for the third leg of its tournament which runs from Dec. 10-12.
“It’s been a fantastic crowd throughout the three days of the competition. They treat us so well here. We’ll really miss a crowd like this,” said Moya after his Singapore Slammers lost a tight battle to the UAE Royals on Tuesday night when asked what he would miss most in Manila.