Slammers lay down the gauntlet

In what was a dress rehearsal for Sunday's International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) final, the Singapore Slammers scored a morale-boosting 27-21 victory over the Indian Aces.

The Aces have been the dominant side in the competition to date, but the Slammers showed Sunday's IPTL finale isn't going to be one-way traffic.

Carlos Moya gave the Slammers the perfect start when he beat Fabrice Santoro 6-2 in the opening legends singles match, giving his side a four-point cushion.

The action continued with the closely-contested men's singles match between Singapore's Stan Wawrinka and the Aces' Bernard Tomic, which went to the Swiss star following a shoot-out, 6-5 (7-4).

The Slammers stayed on a winning track in the women's singles when Belinda Bencic defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2.

That gave the Aces a mountain to climb, and even though they excelled in the remaining doubles matches, the deficit was always going to be too big to overcome.

Indian Aces duo Rohan Bapanna and Sania Mirza beat Dustin Brown and Karolina Pliskova 6-4 in the mixed doubles, and Bopanna returned to court to partner Ivan Dodig as they secured a 6-5 (7-6) shoot-out victory over Marcelo Melo and Nick Kyrgios in the men's doubles, but the Slammers still ran out comfortable 27-21 winners, ensuring they would take the momentum into Sunday's final.

While the Aces dominated this year's IPTL for long stretches, they now enter the final needing to bounce back from successive defeats.

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