IPTL 2015: Rafael Nadal makes IPTL debut as Sania-Bopanna power Indian Aces win 30-18 against UAE Royals

IPTL 2015 - MATCH 09 MICROMAX INDIAN ACES VS OBI UAE ROYALSManila: Amidst rapturous applause and flashing cameras, the Mallorcan Maestro, Rafael Nadal made his IPTL debut for the Micromax Indian Aces in Manila today. It took the audiences many minutes to settle down after Nadal made his appearance on court, the crowds half disbelieving that it was really him in front of their eyes. Nadal was a supportive team-mate on the bench, cheering and applauding every point won! There was a deafening uproar when he took the court for the doubels with Dodig, and then for the singles match against Tomas Berdych. It was an interesting match-up between two equally strong teams, both with two wins each under their belt. Ultimately, it was Micromax Indian Aces who took the match away with a full score, 30-18!

Match Summary:

-  Royals coach JL De Jager won the toss and elected to serve, electing to start with the mixed doubles

-  The ace doubles chemistry of Mirza/Bopanna was too much to deal with for the Royals, the Aces winning the set 6-4

-  The women’s singles saw Sam Stosur face-off with Ana Ivanovic, and even a substitution with Mladenovic did not help the Royals, with Aces winning it convincingly at 6-3

-  The men’s legends singles saw some fine tennis with Santoro chipping and slicing the ball with his magical backhand strokes. In an evenly contested game, the Frenchman won it 6-3 over Ivanisevic

-  Tennis fans got to see some incredible doubles tennis action in the next match, with each team diving to win every point, the Aces on a roll with 3 sets in the bag, and the Royals eager to get a win on the scoreboard. Ultimately, Nadal/Dodig won it for the Aces 6-3

-  In the most awaited match of the evening, Nadal and Berdych showcased some top quality competitive tennis action, fighting point for point, with absolute precision, taking the match all the way to the shoot-out. In a set that could have gone either ways, it was Nadal who clinched victory for his team winning it 6-5

What the Players said:

Fabrice Santoro: “It was great to have Nadal join the team today, he was just brilliant, and took to the format really well. He’s one of the best players in the world, and to have him join us makes us even stronger! We are really playing hard and want to win again, to be able to defend our title! It’s a good team combination that we have and we are looking forward to playing in India with Rafa.”

Samantha Stosur: “Rafa was great with the team on the bench, and he really took to the format so easily. It didn’t feel like it was his first day out there today. We are really enjoying the team competition, its quick and fast-paced, and that’s what’s so great about it.”

Rafael Nadal: “I heard some wonderful things about the IPTL from the players last year. I was looking forward to playing last year too, but had to pull out because of my appendicitis injury. But I’m really excited to be playing here today. It’s a great format, its superbly organised, all the players love, and it’s great for the sport of tennis to be able to go to new markets.” He added, “It’s my first time here in Manila, and the crowd has been fantastic. I did a tennis clinic here yesterday with the kids, and it felt wonderful. I love being with children, to help them play better.” On his visit to India in second leg of IPTL, “I am looking forward to playing in Delhi, my first time there. I’ve played a few times in Chennai. I also have a centre of my foundation in Anantapur, and I’m happy that some children from that centre will be able to come to the games in Delhi. I’m happy to support the children there, they get to learn English, Mathematics, Informatics; we’ve also built some tennis courts there, and it feels good to support the children.” On 2015 and the year ahead, he said “I had a good year, finished no. 5 in the world, which is not so bad. I’m training really hard to be able to play the best that I can, and I am looking forward to a strong year ahead.”

Match Scores:


Day 2 | 7th Dec’15

Match 9 | 4pm

Home Team


Away Team

Micromax Indian Aces

Coach: Fabrice Santoro



Obi UAE Royals

Coach: JL De Jager







Samantha Stosur



Ana Ivanovic


Fabrice Santoro



Goran Ivanisevic







Rafael Nadal



Tomas Berdych