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Champions Tennis League 2015: Punjab Marshalls win second match at home ground

Elina Svitolina showed why she is rated as one of the talented players in the league.

CTL, CTL 2015, 2015 CTL, champions tennis league, tennis, tennis news, tennis league, tennis match in chandigarh, punjab marshalls, elina svitolina, sports Elina Svitolina in action on Saturday. (Source: Expess Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

It’s not every day that one plays against the current US Open Champion. And for Punjab Marshalls’s Elena Svitolina, it was her second match in her career against US Open Champion Mumbai Tennis Masters’ Flavia Penetta. Earlier this year, Evitolina had defeated Penetta 6-4, 6-2 in Rome WTA event on clay court and Saturday was no different as the world number 19 Ukrainian overpowered Penetta 5-2 to win her singles match and to set up Punjab Marshalls emphatic 24-13 win over Mumbai Tennis Masters in their second home match in the Champions Tennis League at CLTA Stadium.

After the Marshalls captain gave Punjab lead in the first match of the tie with a 5-3 win over former Wimbledon champion Richard Kraijek, Svitolina showed why she is rated as one of the talented players in the league as she started with confidence, gaining an early 2-0 lead in her match against Penetta.

The third game saw Panetta breaking Elena’s serve to make a comeback in the game but Elena once again broke Penetta’s serve in the fourth game to lead the match 4-1. The Ukrainian then won the seventh game while serving to win the second match 5-2 for the team and to give them a 10-5 overall lead in the tie.

The third match then saw Elena partnering with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis against Santiago Garildo and Penetta 5-0 in the mixed doubles match to extend the overall lead to 15-5 in the match for the Punjab Marshalls. And team captain Greg Rusedski was effusive in his praise for the youngster.

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“Elena has been playing really well and she showed that today in her match against Penetta. She likes this surface and the slow courts suit her game. To defeat the current US Champion will boost her confidence a lot. Her win set the things for the Marshalls in the match,” said Rusedski after the match.

Staging a late comeback, Mumbai Tennis Masters regained some lost ground when the duo of birthday boy Santiago Giraldo and Sriram Balaji won the doubles match 5-4 (5-2 tie-break) to win the men’s doubles match of the tie. It was a match which saw Indian player Balaji serving with confidence and Balaji’s crucial serves in the match meant that the duo could win crucial points. After the match was tied at 4-4, Giraldo-Balaji fought their way in the tie-break. The duo raced away to 5-2 to win the match.

While the rest of the teams have some lesser ranked player in the men’s singles category, Marshalls’ presence of Cyprus’s Marcos Baghdatis has meant that the team plays to their strength in the last tie of the match. And this happened on Saturday too. Baghdatis carved out a 5-3 win against Giraldo to claim the mandatory win to set up the second successive win in the league. “We are happy to win both our matches at our home ground. No team has won two successive matches in the league yet and the team did that, which will boost our confidence,” said Rusedski. Punjab Marshalls will now face Raipur Rangers at Raipur on December 2.

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The Punjab Marshalls had also made arrangements for tennis fans from Jalandhar to watch the match. School students and college students from Jalandhar came to watch Saturday’s match and cheered for their favourite stars in the match. Last time, the matches were held late in the evening but this year’s early evening timings meant that students and local fans could come to watch the matches.

First published on: 29-11-2015 at 08:29:28 am
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