Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) Mumbai Tennis Masters suffered their second consecutive loss in the Champions Tennis League (CTL) second season as they went down by a 14-23 margin to a dominant Raipur Rangers at the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association here on Tuesday. After losing 19-21 to visitors Punjab Marshalls in the opening night on Monday, Mumbai failed to stage a comeback in the contest, and instead went down to the better side in a one-sided encounter at home. The day’s tie started with the legends match where Richard Krajicek of Mumbai beat former World No.1 Thomas Muster of Raipur 5-3.
Both retired players, despite being away from the court for years, displayed their skills that were thoroughly enjoyed by the small crowd in the stadium. But 1996 Wimbledon singles champion Krajicek had the last laugh as he bettered his performance from the opening night to win the set and help his side take a vital 1-0 lead.
Next up was the women’s singles match between reigning US Open champion Flavia Pennetta and French Alize Cornet where the latter clinched the set in a one-sided encounter. The game started in a see-saw manner where both the players broke each other in the first two games. But from there on, some quality serves, backhand shots and work at the nets helped Cornet win the battle 5-2 in style to draw level for Raipur against Mumbai 1-1.
The women’s singles was followed by a mixed doubles match between Colombian Santiago Giraldo/Pennetta of Mumbai and Spain’s Bautista Agut/Cornet of Raipur. Both pairs won their respective opening service games but from there on it was a one sided affair as Cornet-Agut further strengthened their lead to make it 4-2 in their favour. But the Colombian-Italian pair fought hard to get back into the tie to make it 4-3 in their favour.
But Cornet-Agut yet again came up with a dominant show in the game to clinch the set 5-3 for the Rangers and thus help take a 2-1 lead in the night. With the visitors leading 2-1, hosts Mumbai had no other option but to come up with a better performance in the next clash to stay in the match. But that was not to be. Raipur’s men’s doubles pairing of India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan and Agut defeated India’s Sriram Balaji and Giraldo 5-2 in a one-sided encounter to clinch the tie for the visitors 3-1 with the men’s singles match still to be played.
After the gathered home crowd witnessed the hosts going down once again, the men’s singles match was something the home side played for pride. But the 27-year-old Spanish Agut once again showed his talent and skills as he played some dominating tennis against Giraldo in the entire set to clinch it 5-2 and ensure victory for the Rangers in style. Mumbai will next face Punjab in an away match on November 28, while winners Raipur will also play against Punjab in an away match on November 27.