The Hyderabad Aces scored a thrilling 28-24 win over the Bangalore Raptors in the second tie of the inaugural edition of the Champions Tennis League (CTL) on Monday. The Hyderabad win makes it two out of two for home teams on Day 1 of the CTL.
CTL Kicks off in Hyderabad with Legends Tie
The tie started off with the legends singles between former Wimbledon finalist Mark Phillippoussis and Thomas Enqvist of Sweden. Australian Mark Phillippoussis came back from 2-5 down and saved match points to defeat the former Top 5 player Thomas Enqvist 6-5, giving the Hyderabad team a slim early lead.
The Bangalore team fought back as Venus Williams/ Feliciano Lopez scored a 6-5 win over Martina Hingis/ Mikhail Youzhny when Williams hit a stunning forehand passing shot past Hingis on match point.
Hingis and Williams then took to the court to renew their rivalry that dates back to the 1997 US Open final. Hingis, who plays only part-time doubles put in a strong performance to oust the still-active Venus Williams 6-3 to give the Hyderabad team the lead once again.
In the Men’s doubles, Mikhail Youzhny/ Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan defeated Lopez/ Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3 to put the Hyderabad team within reach of victory. In the deciding men’s singles set, Feliciano Lopez nearly brought the Bangalore team back into the tie as he won the set 6-3 and then took the match into overtime. Youzhny needed to win one of the next three games to secure the win for Hyderabad else the tie would have gone into Super Overtime.
Lopez did all he could to keep the Bangalore hopes alive, winning the next two games and coming from 0-40 down to deuce in the next game. But Youzhny struck a beautiful one-handed backhand pass on the next point to win the one game required and give the Hyderabad Aces a 27-25 win.
So with this win, Hyderabad Aces have an early lead in their group. Bangalore Raptors came close in the tie and Feliciano Lopez and Venus Williams are sure to get better as the matches progress.