Category Archives: CTL

Champions Tennis League: Radwanska plays stellar role as Pune win inaugural title

The Champions Tennis League (CTL) was predestined to be overshadowed by its big brother, the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). After all, the latter boasts of hallowed names as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, making it a certain winner (albeit in comparison) to the former, which drew to a close here on Wednesday. POOR SALES Ticket sales were discouraging throughout the all-too-abrupt tournament and the empty stands even during the final between Delhi Dreams and Pune Marathas did not augur well for the organisers. The question was whether this uneasy experiment would end with a bang or a whimper.

Not that the CTL did not have stars in its ranks, but most of them such as Martina Hingis and even Venus Williams were past their prime. Questions about the competitive value of the tournament were also raised, questions that gained more currency at the end of the so-called legends’ singles match that kicked off the proceedings.

The 49- year- old for mer Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash, who had lost all his previous matches, took on former French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero, who had lost none of his. Cash raised a few eyebrows by holding on to serve till 2-2 and even managed a few winners when he went to the net, but it was always a foregone conclusion as Ferrero started to get his passing shots flying past the old master with disdain. He won 6-3.

It seemed like much ado about nothing as the chill intensified; but that’s when world No 6 Agnieszka Radwanska took centrestage and took it upon herself to provide some quality tennis to the small but vocal crowd.

First, she teamed up with Marcos Baghdatis to clinch the mixed doubles against a sprightly Sanam Singh and Jelena Jankovic 6-5 (5-3), then toppled Jankovic in a hard-fought women’s singles match 6-4 that provided some exhilarating moments of top-quality tennis.

There was more competition in the men’s doubles as Saketh Myneni and Baghdatis pulled off a 6-5 (5-2) win over Kevin Anderson and Sanam Singh. Pune were ahead by 21-20 and a close final had somehow come into being.

The icing on the cake was provided by world No 85 Baghdatis upsetting world No 16 Kevin Anderson 6-3 in the men’s singles to give Pune the title by 27-23. In hindsight the final had all the right elements, but will it ensure another CTL next year? Only time will tell.

Hingis pips Radwanska as Hyderabad take 2-point lead over Pune

Swiss star Martina Hingis prevailed over world number six Agnieszka Radwanska in a very tight women’s singles match to hand Hyderabad Aces a narrow two-point lead over Pune Marathas in a do-or-die Champions Tennis League (CTL) on Monday.

Hyderabad are leading 15-13 with two matches to go in the South Group tie, the winner will compete with Delhi Dreams in the title clash on Wednesday.

The two players came into the match when tie was locked at 9-points all with Hyderabad winning the legends singles while hosts Pune coming back with win in the mixed doubles.

Hingis, five-time singles Grand Slam champion, took a crucial break in the third game, cashing in on unforced errors of Radwanska. The Polish send a forehand long at 0-40 to allow Hingis pull away.

Radwanska, nine years younger than Hingis, though went on offensive as she attacked the serve of the Swiss in the next game and got the break back.

Hingis yet again went ahead with a terrific win following an engrossing rally in the eighth game but could not serve out the match as her forehand went soaring over the baseline at 30-40.

Radwanska had to win the next game to force a tie-breaker but she handed Hingis three match points and double-faulted at 0-40 to let Hyderabad have advantage.

At the start of the tie, Mark Philippoussis beat Pat Cash 6-3 in the legends singles, creating a three-point lead.

Pune though neutralised that lead as Radwanska and Marecos Baghdatis won the mixed doubles 6-3 against Hingis and Mikhail Youzhny.

Delhi Dreams down Mumbai Tennis Masters to win second straight tie

Delhi extended their impressive start to the inaugural Champions Tennis League (CTL), winning their second consecutive tie against Mumbai Tennis Masters 27-19 in a group encounter at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) here on Tuesday.

Delhi took an early lead as Juan Carlos Ferrero got the better of Sergi Bruguera 6-2 in the legends match and maintained their supremacy in the mixed doubles contest, winning it by an identical margin.

Mumbai pulled a match back in the contest, with Alize Cornet winning the women’s singles match 6-3.

But Delhi restored their advantage in the men’s doubles match, Kevin Anderson and Sanam Singh beating Tommy Robredo and Sriram Balaji 6-3.

Mumbai trailed the hosts Delhi 13-21 going into the final match of the tie and needed a big effort from Tommy Robredo against Kevin Anderson in the men’s singles contest. But despite his best efforts, saw the match end 6-6 to hand Delhi the tie.

In the legends match, Bruguera was broken in the very first game of the tie, helping Ferrero take a 2-0 lead. Ferrero stretched that lead to 4-1, breaking Bruguera again. Too many unforced errors proved to be the reason for Bruguera’s loss as he eventually went down 2-6 in 22 minutes.

Delhi maintained the pressure on Mumbai in the next match. They again took an early lead with the mixed doubles pair of Kevin Anderson and Jelena Jankovic going up 4-1 against Tommy Robredo and Alize Cornet and comfortably closed down the match from there, winning 6-2.

Mumbai had a glimmer of hope to stage a comeback into the contest in the women’s singles match with Alize Cornet breaking Jankovic’s serve twice to lead 5-1. Jelena reduced the margin to 3-5 but Cornet managed to hold on, winning 6-3.

But Delhi quickly doused mounting hopes of a Mumbai comeback, claiming the men’s doubles match. The Delhi pair Kevin Anderson-Sanam Singh broke Tommey Robredo-Sriram Balaji twice to win the match 6-3.

Mumbai needed a big-margin victory from Tommy Robredo in the men’s singles contest against Kevin Anderson and established a 4-2 lead. The competition got intense and Anderson managed to execute a terrific turnaround to square it at 5-5.

The match stretched to the tie-breaker where Robredo won 5-3. But according to the tournament rules, the winner of the last match, the men’s singles, must have a two game gap to win the contest. But Anderson didn’t provide him with any scope, winning his service game to end the contest 6-6, thus handing his team a second successive win in the tournament.