Men's Singles - Singapore Slammers' Stan Wawrinka in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
Stan Wawrinka shook off a loss to Swiss compatriot Roger Federer, playing for the UAE Royals, on the opening day of the competition’s Singapore leg to lead the Slammers to back to back victories against the Indian Aces in the group stage and finals.
Wawrinka delighted the home crowd with his trademark backhand returns in a closely fought International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) final against the Indian Aces. Playing in both the men’s doubles and singles, the Swiss player excelled at in both sets to lead his team to a 26-21 win.
Members of the Singapore Slammers celebrate winning the final with the trophy. Photo: Sport Singapore
The Slammers started the final on the right note with Carlos Moya overcoming Fabrice Santoro 6-4 in the opening “Legend’s Singles” game. Swiss starlet Belinda Bencic then opened up a 12-9 advantage by beating Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in the women's singles.
"I was lucky that Charlie (Moya) won and did a great job and I could also make a lead," Bencic said in a courtside interview. "It's not much but we will try to keep winning the matches."
The Aces, however, struck back in the mixed doubles with their strong Indian pairing of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna storming to a 6-2 victory over a shell-shocked Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova to put the defending champions 15-14 ahead.
It was left to Wawrinka, the highest-ranked player in the final, to turn things around for the Slammers with a 6-3 win over Bernard Tomic before teaming up with Marcelo Melo to seal the contest.
Men's Doubles - Singapore Slammers' Marcelo Melo celebrates as Stan Wawrinka looks on. Photo: Sport Singapore
Wawrinka had warmed to the task and looked as accomplished as his doubles world number one partner from Brazil, the pair dominating Bopanna and Ivan Dodig 6-3 to set off wild celebrations in the middle of the court.
"I just came along at the end and helped the team," Wawrinka said. "The team had done an amazing job in the two weeks leading to the final and I was just really happy to finish it off playing with a great player and friend Marcelo."