UAE Royals vs New comer IPTL team Japan Warriors December 3, 2015. The Royals won all five sets of their clash with the Japan Warriors in Kobe to post a 30-15 victory and make it two wins out of two for the season.
Tomas Berdych won in both men’s singles and doubles, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 in the singles to complete the win.
Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic had got the ball rolling with a 6-0 mixed doubles success against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Maria Sharapova in the opening set. Even the substitution of Leander Paes for Herbert could not prevent the first love set of this season’s competition.
Ana Ivanovic then beat Sharapova 6-4, Goran Ivanisevic saw off Marat Safin by the same scoreline and Nestor returned to the court to post a 6-4 men’s doubles win, alongside Berdych, against Herbert and Paes.
The Royals still have Roger Federer to come into their side later in the season.
In the day’s other match, the Singapore Slammers claimed their first victory of the 2015 campaign, beating the Philippine Mavericks 26-24.
The Slammers, who will welcome Andy Murray into the fold when the tournament heads to Dubai later this month, had Nick Kyrgios to thank for their victory.
Teams: Japan Warriors: Kurumi Nara, Maria Sharapova, Kei Nishikori, Leander Paes, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Marat Safin.
UAE Royals: Kristina Mladenovic, Ana Ivanovic, Daniel Nestor, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic.
Following an earlier shock loss for Serena Williams to Kristina Pliskova, the tie was all square heading into the final set – the men’s singles.
In it, Kyrgios held his nerve to beat Milos Raonic 6-4 and claim the tie for his side. Matches in the IPTL are made up of five sets, one each of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and legends’ singles.
However, in a change to last year’s format, points are not awarded for wins over fellow teams. Instead the percentage of games won and lost is used to determine the league standings, meaning every game carries weight.
Another change in 2015 will see a final introduced with the top two teams from the regular season meeting in Singapore on December 20. Last season the champion team was simply the one which finished top of the table.