NewZNew (New Delhi) : A dominant Delhi Dreams registered their second successive win in the Champions Tennis League (CTL), defeating a fighting Mumbai Tennis Masters 27-19 in a North Group match here Tuesday night.
Delhi ran away with a handsome eight-point lead after the end of four matches, leading 21-13, but world number 17 Tommy Robredo kept the hosts waiting after pulling off a stupendous 6-5 (5-3) win over Kevin Anderson in the men’s singles. Delhi had a seven-point lead but since Mumbai won the last match, they earned the chance to nullify the advantage.
Robredo had to win seven games on the trot and Anderson needed to win just one more in the super overtime to close it in his team’s favour and the South African did that in the very first game. The two top-20 players played with a lot of energy from the baseline, matching each other stroke for stroke. Robredo turned it around after trailing 0-2 as he reeled off four straight games to take a 4-2 lead.
His ferocious forehands was a treat to watch and it was clear that the players were not playing an ‘exhibition’ match. French woman Alize Cornet pulled one back for the Mumbai Tennis Masters with a spirited victory over Jelena Jankovic after Delhi took a 2-1 lead. The Mumbai team was trailing by 8 games after losing the legends singles and mixed doubles but Cornet kept her side’s hopes alive with a hard-fought 6-3 win over the Serbian.
However, Delhi continued the good work with Sanam Singh and Kevin Anderson recording a 6-3 win over Robredo and N Sriram Balaji. At the start, Juan Carlos Ferrero yet again provided a great start to Delhi dreams with a convincing 6-2 win over Sergi Bruguera. In the contest between the two clay-court masters of the past, it was the younger legend Ferraro, who called the shots.
He put his side ahead with his tremendous ground strokes, still looking sharp after two years of retirement. If the 2003 French Open winner Ferrero dominated with his fierce ground strokes, Bruguera played some awe-inspiring drop shots. Bruguera, the two-time Roland Garros champion, though was no match to Ferrero as unforced errors flew from the racquet of the 43-year-old unabatedly.
The 34-year-old Ferrero needed only 22 minutes to dismantle his senior compatriot. With the same scoreline, Kevin Anderson and Jelena Jankovic outplayed the Mumbai pair of Alize Cornet and Tommy Robredo to double the Delhi lead. Former world number one Jankovic then got ready for the women’s singles with his team leading by a healthy eight-game margin.
However, the Serb found the going tough as Cornet came out all guns blazing, determined to bring her side back in the hunt. The World number 19 Frenchwoman, who has beaten Serena Williams thrice this season, broke Jelena in the fourth game and held the next for a healthy 4-1 lead.
It was a chilly evening with temperature dropping fast but Cornet’s court coverage with swift movements and powerful strokes hotted up the tie. She was serving for the set but dropped serve with a double-handed backhand. Jankovic raised the tempo of the match by saving five match points, fighting tooth and nail but Cornet finally sealed it for her Mumbai side when the Serb hit a backhand wide.