The UAE Royals took a 29-24 victory over the Manila Mavericks back to Dubai, with Cilic edging Murray in a ???shoot-out??? after a 5-5 set in the final action of an innovative, charismatic opening day.
The glitzy event ??? featuring the novelty of Murray and Maria Sharapova joining forces in the mixed doubles ??? was played in a jovial atmosphere, with dancers catching the eye and team spirit displayed in abundance.
The legends’ set was won by the Royals’ Goran Ivanisevic over Carlos Moya in a shoot-out after a 5-5 draw, giving them a 6-5 overall lead as points are accrued via games, not sets.
Marin Cilic, in his first appearance of the evening, teamed with Nenad Zimonjic to topple Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Conrad Huey 6-4 in the second set.
It was the middle set that rose the Philippines crowd off their feet at the strange prospect of Murray and Sharapova joining forces for the Mavericks. But the apparent dream team got off to a slow start, slipping to a 5-1 disadvantage against Zimonjic and Kristina Mladenovic, only to succumb to their less illustrious opponents.
Sharapova gained a measure of revenge by thrashing Mladenovic in the women???s singles fourth set, giving the Mavericks their only set of the match.
The critical fifth set pitted Murray and Cilic together. The set ended 5-5 and Cilic???s shootout win gave the Royals an overall 29-24 win, avoiding the prospect of a ???super shootout???. Murray would have forced this unique ruling by winning the fifth set but trailing overall on points – he would have had the opportunity to play a sudden-death game-by-game scenario with Cilic which would continue as long as he kept winning. A single Cilic victory would have ended the contest in his favour – but that drama was left for another day.
The Indian Aces beat the Singapore Slammers 26-16 in Delhi. Local duo Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza beat Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova. The Aces’ Fabrice Santoro bested Pat Rafter in the legends encounter.
Bopanna and Gael Monfils allowed the Slammers??? Nick Krygios and Tomas Berdych back into the match but the women’s singles featured the Aces’ Ana Ivanovic whitewashing Hantuchova. Monfils wrapped up victory by beating Lleyton Hewitt.