Hosts Indian Aces, already assured of a place in the title clash, suffered a 20-24 defeat against UAE Royals in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), here today.
Thomas Johannson routed Mark Philippoussis 6-2 in the legends singles after being up 5-0 in the 24-minute lop-sided contest.
Kirsten Flipkens pulled one back for the Indian Aces with a 6-3 win over former world number one Ana Ivanovic in the women’s singles in 27 minutes.
Home favourites Sania Mirza, playing at her home turf after a long time, and Rohan Bopanna though suffered a tame 3-6 defeat at the hands of Daniel Nestor and Ivanovic in just 22 minutes as Royals increased lead to four points.
Bopanna though returned with Ivan Dodig to narrow the deficit to one point with a 6-3 win in the men’s doubles against Pablo Cuevas and Nestor. They got crucial break in the eighth game and served out the set in the ninth.
It all boiled down to the men’s singles in which Tomas Berdych got the better of Dodig 6-3 to seal the issue for the Royals. The Czech got the crucial break in the eighth game.
In a repeat of 2015 final, Indian Aces will challenge defending champions Singapore Slammers for the title tomorrow.