Singapore: In an anticlimactic result for the Indian Aces, who had topped the table coming into the final, the Indian team lost the champions crown to hosts Singapore Slammers, who prevailed 26-21 in the final on Sunday.
Indian Aces were easily the most dominant side this season, losing only three matches and winning 54.1 % of the games they played in their campaign.
Carlos Moya handed Slammers a two-point lead with his 6-4 win over Fabrice Santoro in the Legend's singles.
Frenchman Santoro, the Indian Aces coach, had pulled out of Dubai leg due to fever but his return could not inspire a winning start for the last year’s champions.
Belinda Bencic extended her team’s lead after she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 in a gruelling women's singles that lasted 42 minutes.
The Indian Aces roared back with a 6-2 win in the mixed doubles as Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna teamed up for an impressive win over Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka then beat Bernard Tomic 6-3 in the men’s singles to help Slammers maintain slight edge.
The men's doubles, this season’s last set, turned into a title-deciding contest and it was Slammers pair of Wawrinka and Marcelo Melo that prevailed 6-3 against Bopanna and Ivan Dodig to give Singapore a 26-21 win.
The Slammers, coached by India's double specialist Purav Raja, claimed a prize pursed of $one million while Indian Aces got $500,000.
Ivan Dodig (Aces) was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) (Male) while Slammers' Belinda Bencic was adjudged the MVP (Female) for their superlative performances through the season. They got $50,000 each for the dominant tennis they played all throughout the season.
IPTL Founder and Managing Director Mahesh Bhupathi said "From the league perspective, it was a great final. Till yesterday we didn’t know who the two finalists would be, which is great. And to have finished it this way for Singapore Slammers, in front of a cheering home crowd, is terrific."
Bhupathi said they will continue with five teams in the next season
"We got off to a great start last year, added another team in the second year, were broadcast in 155 countries across the world – so it speaks well for the success for the IPTL. Next year is an Olympic year, so I don’t see us adding another team, but we’ll continue building on from here," he added.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2015 08:36:18 IST