|Photo Credit: PhotoConcierge E. Ling|
Hyderabat, December 11th 2016.One of the four original charter franchises that participated in the IPTL’s inaugural 2014 season, the Slammers ended up fourth on the table. In the following season in 2015, they ended up as the trophylifters after defeating the Indian Aces in the final. And in 2016, they have retained the title with a rematch of last year’s final. Back-to-back finals. Back-to-back titles.
Here are the names to be remembered.
Carlos Moya is a retired professional tennis player from Spain. The 40 year-old who turned pro in 1995, was the French Open singles champion in 1998 and was the singles runner-up at the 1997 Australian Open. In 2004, the man from Majorca helped his country win the Davis Cup. Carlos has won an impressive 20 singles titles in his career. The Spaniard has been the perfect Legend contender for the Slammers, winning seven consecutive matches in this 2016 IPTL.
Kiki Bertens is a Dutch national whose highest ranking has been World No. 21 in women’s singles. She is 25 years old and plays with her right hand with a two-handed backhand. The true lucky charm of the Slammers, she has been vital for the Singapore side over the 2016 stint, her first one.
Marcelo Melo is from Brazil. In 2015, Melo became the first Brazilian male ever to win a French Open doubles title, playing alongside Ivan Dodig. He is a doubles specialist who turned pro in 1998. Melo has won 21 doubles titles in his career. A true team-player, Melo is the soul of the Slammers.
Nick Kyrgios is from Australia. The 21-year old has already made a name for himself as one of the brightest
prospects in modern day tennis and his gameplay backs that up. Nobody likes the IPTL more than thenAussie, who has been a Slammer for three years now.
Marcos Baghdatis is a 31-year old from Cyprus who has reached a career-high ATP ranking of World No. 8 in 2006. Baghdatis' playing style is relaxed and smooth, but he generally employs a ‘high risk, high reward’ playing style. In his first IPTL, Baghdatis has been the breakout player of the 2016 Slammers team alongside Bertens.
Coach Purav Raja is an experienced doubles player. The 31 year old Indian has been the decision-maker for the Singapore Slammers with very well done strategic decisions during this 2016 edition.
WHAT THE CHAMPIONS SAID
The Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League 2016 has come to an end and the OUE Singaporen Slammers have retained the title with a sensational win over the local team Indian Aces. After the fantastic
victory, here is what the Players said:
“Kiki has been the queen of the team.”
“How I keep it so cool? I guess it’s the way I am and also the team competition helps too. I try not show to
the other guy what I am thinking when things don’t go the way I want. But then again, that’s a team effort also, the other players help you to keep it cool.”
“It was a lot of fun. I always look forward to the ITPL and the new faces on the team have been key. You make new friends, you have this team spirit that the IPTL offers and we have had such a good chemistry… the win shows it. We have been supporting each other during the whole competition.”“I love team sports. I love watching and also playing. Everyone supported me this week and that makes it more fun, more enjoyable.”
“Has been a really nice experience. It didn’t feel at all that I was the only girl in the team. They have been very supportive. Has been great.” “Yesterday was my birthday and I had a great day with the guys. We could celebrate, have a nice dinner and they sang happy birthday probably fifteen times during the day. The win is a birthday present for sure. We all came out with great energy today.”