SINGAPORE - The OUE Singapore Slammers will get a shot at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) title on Sunday with a partisan crowd backing them, after the team grabbed the other spot in the final.
The Slammers will face the Micromax Indian Aces at the Singapore Indoor Stadium at 4pm on Sunday, after the team did well enough to keep third-placed Obi UAE Royals' charge for a final berth at bay.
Led by Stan Wawrinka, the Slammers beat the Indian Aces 27-21 in a round-robin tie.
Carlos Moya got the Slammers off to a good start when he beat Fabrice Santoro 6-2, before Wawrinka staged a comeback in his men's singles match against Bernard Tomic, after falling 2-5 behind to eventually win 6-5.
Swiss Belinda Bencic put the team further ahead with a 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova, playing in the mixed doubles, were beaten 4-6 by the Aces' Indian mixed doubles pair Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza.
Bopanna and Ivan Dodig then teamed up in the men's doubles to beat Nick Kyrgios and Marcelo Melo in a close shoot-out to win 6-5.
Said Kyrgios: "I haven't played much doubles, but to have three of the best doubles players on court with me was incredible. Every time we come out we have great teamwork and chemistry and the Singapore crowd is by far the best."
Added Aces' Dodig: "It will be even more tense on the court tomorrow. All of us will try to put on our best tennis and it will be great."
In the day's earlier tie, the Obi UAE Royals' hopes of making the final were hit when the team were beaten 24-23 by the Philippine Mavericks.
Going into the tie in third place on the five-team standings, the Royals were hoping to improve on their win-loss percentage of games won to overtake the OUE Singapore Slammers.
James Blake got the Philippine side off to a good start when he beat Goran Ivanisevic 6-4. The win was followed up by Jarmila Gadjodsova in the women's singles match, when she beat an injured Kristina Mladenovic 6-3.
In the mixed doubles, however, the Royals bounced back when Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor teamed up to beat Gajdosova and Somdev Devvarman 6-1. Devvarman was substituted to replace Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Roger-Vasselin and Treat Huey then got the Mavericks back on track with a 6-4 win over Marin Cilic and Nestor in the men's doubles. The men's singles match between Cilic and Ivo Karlovic went down the wire. The two sides at 23-23, it went to a super shoot-out, before Ivo Karlovic sealed the overall win for the Mavericks with an ace on the deciding point.