Nadal leads Indian Aces to big win over UAE

Tennis IPTL : Spaniard downs Federer in singles and doubles

Nadal leads Indian Aces to big win over UAE

One wonders how Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fare without each other? Or whether they would have achieved the greatness they did in the company of each other?

Rivalries, as history reveals, have given the genius the greatness it aspires. Be it John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, Chris Evert or Martina Navratilova or most recently Federer and Nadal- their legend has been shaped in the mutual brilliance of their gladiatorial appetite to win.

Federer and Nadal brought that vigour to IPTL too, on Saturday night. Turning out for UAE Royals and Indian Aces respectively, the two played their hearts out, be it in men’s doubles or the much anticipated singles clash. 

Federer, flaunting a stubble, is not new to IPTL. He had replaced an injured Nadal in Indian Aces last year and this year was lapped up by UAE Royals who had Novak Djokovic in the inaugural year. 

Nadal, who has had a rough year, has made it amply clear of his desire to reclaim his form, which fetched him 14 titles and World No. 1 ranking. Predictably, there was no let up from his side. He has been in India for the last two days and had already played a match here.

With Federer on the other side, it whetted the intensity of competition and set up an electrifying aura. The energy which the two brought to the court was infectious. India’s Rohan Bopanna, who partnered Nadal, could vouch for that. Nadal was by his side in every point, goading him, encouraging him on way to their 6-4 win in the men’s doubles against Federer and Marin Cilic.

The Spaniard later returned for the singles match which lived every bit of the hype. Federer fought till the last, bouncing back twice after being broken, saving two match points, and pushing the matter to the shootout. More than once his down the line returns left Nadal shaking his head in admiration. However, the Swiss great went down in the shootout 7-4 with Indian Aces beating UAE Royals 30-19.

Earlier, Federer pairing up with Cilic was his usual sedate self. It was the first match of season in IPTL for Federer, who had arrived here only late Friday night. He was still rusty on his preferred indoor court. As Nadal pranced around the court for every point, he brought the contrast which had made their rivalry such a treat to watch. It is just not the great players who make for great rivalries. It is, perhaps, the difference in their games and persona on and off court which makes the contest riveting.

If Federer with his trimmed hair, prim mannerism, flowing movement is compared to Apollo, Nadal with his youthful exuberance and raw hunger to beat the unbeatable, has been to Sparta.

The beauty of Federer and ruthlessness of Nadal have challenged and complimented each other. Saturday was to witness to another such spectacle.
In the first match Singapore Slammers beat Japan Warriors 24-22.

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