Mavericks in big win over Royals
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - December 19, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With their backs against the wall, the Philippine Mavericks beat the UAE Royals in a super shootout last night, 24-23, to finish their campaign in the 2015 IPTL on a high note at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Ivo Karlovic fired an ace to beat Marin Cilic in the super shootout, 10-9, and give the Mavericks the closing win after a stunning loss to the Japan Warriors the other night.

But despite the victory, their third in three matches against the Royals this year, the Mavericks remained in fourth place with 48.1 points behind the Royals with 50.0 points.

The Mavericks fought hard for all day against the Royals and were rewarded with the very close decision.

Defending champion Indian Aces (55.2 points) were playing the Singapore Slammers (51.8 points) as of presstime, with both teams hoping to seal a finals showdown tonight.

James Blake, 35, an American who retired from professional tennis in 2013, triggered the Mavericks’ hot start with a 6-4 victory over 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic of Yugoslavia in the legends singles.

Blake, who reached a career-high world ranking of No. 4, won 10 titles but never a Grand Slam. Last September, he was in the news when undercover cops arrested him in Manhattan due to mistaken identity.

Jarmila Gajdosova, an attractive Slovak-Australian player, then pulled off a 6-3 over the fancied Kristina Mladenovic of France in women’s singles.

The UAE Royals, hoping for a big win that could send them to the finals, bounced back with a convincing 6-1 victory in mixed doubles, courtesy of Daniel Nestor and Mladenovic.

Roger Federer, who carried the Royals past the Singapore Slammers the other day, 27-23, did not see action against the Mavericks.

That win in mixed doubles levelled the match at 13-13 heading to the last two sets.

Fil-American Treat Huey and 2014 French Open doubles winner Edouard Roger-Vasselin pushed the Mavericks back in the driver’s seat in men’s doubles.

Huey and Roger-Vasselin beat the pair of Cilic and Nelson, 6-4, leading to the all-important men’s singles.

Cilic won the men’s singles over Karlovic, 6-4, and tied the match at 23-23, leading to the super shootout.

CILIC AND NELSON DANIEL NESTOR AND MLADENOVIC EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN FIL-AMERICAN TREAT HUEY FRENCH OPEN GORAN IVANISEVIC OF YUGOSLAVIA GRAND SLAM HUEY AND ROGER-VASSELIN INDIAN ACES IVO KARLOVIC SINGAPORE SLAMMERS
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