Fourteen-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal produced a flawless performance to guide defending champions Indian Aces to a commendable 30-12 victory against Philippine Mavericks in the India leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in New Delhi on Thursday.
Nadal took part in the men’s doubles match with Rohan Bopanna to register a comfortable 6-4 win against Treat Huey-Edouard Roger Vasselin and then easily defeated Frenchman Roger Vasselin 6-4 in the men’s singles match at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
It was the Aces’ fourth win in five matches as they continued to lead the five-team standings, just ahead of Mavericks who have four wins from six matches.
Aces led the contest from the onset of the match with the home-grown pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza gave the title-holders a substantial four set lead, winning 6-2 against Filipino-American tennis star Treat Huey and Croatian-Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Bopanna-Mirza wrapped up the mixed doubles contest with some stunning forehand shots in only 22 minutes.
Aces’ World No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska was even more emphatic in her match. The Polish starlet took just 17 minutes to thump Slovak-Australian Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1 in the women’s singles match.
The Aces had a commanding 9-game (12-3) lead going into the legends match. And burly Australian Mark Philippoussis had to win big to get his team back into the contest against Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.
But Santoro gave him no chance whatsoever, thrashing him 6-1 in 22 minutes to sell his team’s lead to a handsome 18-4.
The men’s doubles pairing of Nadal-Bopanna extended the domination of Aces in the next match taking 23 minutes to overcome the challenge of Huey-Roger Vasselin 6-4.
By the time Nadal began his men’s singles match, Aces lead by a comprehensive 24-8 margin.
But ever the professional, Nadal played the match with utmost seriousness, displaying some delectable forehands and delicate shots.
Roger Vasselin made his task tough as he fought for every shot. But Nadal broke the Frenchman to take a 3-1 lead and prevailed 6-4 on 33 minutes to bring the curtains down to the a memorable exhibition of top quality tennis.