Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer 6-5 in an electrifying match of tennis as the Indian Aces stayed on course to defend their title with a 30-19 win over second placed UAE Royals at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.
The all-Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza continued their winning run in the mixed doubles category with a 6-4 victory over Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic. Indian Aces' Agnieszka Radwanska followed that up with a one-sided 6-1 win over Mladenovic in the women's singles tie to put the home side comfortably in the lead at 12-5.
Indian Aces' coach Fabrice Santoro continued his stunning form with a hard fought 6-5 win over Goran Ivanisevic. The Frenchman was trailing the tie at 5-2, but produced a brilliant comeback into the game. With Rafael Nadal watching on from the bench, Santoro produced two stunning winners on the run, much like the Spaniard, to get a break point. Santoro won the game with a delightful drop shot, that left the crowd, his teammates and Goran breathless. The 43-year-old won the shoot-out 7-4 to put Aces on the verge of another win.
In the men's doubles tie, Rohan Bopanna paired up with Rafael Nadal to take on Marin Cilic and Roger Federer. While all the eyes were on Nadal and Federer, it was Bopanna who stole the show in the tie. The Indian tennis ace produced some brilliant winners at the net, and from the baseline, to help his team win the tie 6-4.
Indian Aces' win in the fourth tie rendered the much awaited clash between Nadal and Federer inconsequential, but the fans in the stadium could not care less. The Spaniard drew the first blood in the encounter as he broke Federer's serve in the first game. The Swiss master was playing far from his best as he produced a host of unforced errors and missed most of his first serves.
A double fault at 30-15 in the 9th game of the tie, handed over three breakpoints to Nadal. Federer though, showed a lot of fight and defended all three of them. That hold of serve changed the momentum of the match, and Federer produced vaporizing forehands and backhands in the next game, to break back on Nadal's serve.
At 5-5, the tie went to shoot-out, but Federer's serve let him down once again, as Nadal raced to a 5-2 lead and eventually won it 7-4.