Andy Murray's Mavericks fall to the Royals in league opener

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Andy Murray lost both of his sets as the Manila Mavericks were defeated in their first match of the International Premier Tennis League.

The Scot joined up with Maria Sharapova in the mixed doubles and faced US Open champion Marin Cilic, but the UAE Royals were 29-24 victors in the new team tournament.

Murray's busy week

Murray has had a busy week, announcing his engagement to long-term girlfriend Kim Sears and sacking two members of his coaching staff. His doubles partner Sharapova got the Mavericks off to a good start, coming back from 2-5 down against Kristina Mladenovic to win 6-5 after the timed tie-break, just one of the new features in the competition.

In an attempt to maintain viewer interest, a shot clock is used to speed up play between points and advantage isn’t played when scores get to deuce. The winning team earn $1 million per match and this has attracted some big names to the contest.

Murray and Sharapova matchup

The Murray-Sharapova combination looked promising but the pair lost 6-4 to set up an intriguing last match-up. For the Mavericks to win the tie, the former Wimbledon champion had to defeat Cilic 6-2, but for the second time in the night the home team lost the the timed-tie break, which clinched victory for the Royals.

Earlier in the day the Micromax Indian Aces, led by Davis Cup runner up Gael Monfils, beat the Singapore Slammers 26-16. The Frenchman took out his frustration at losing to Switzerland last weekend by thrashing Lleyton Hewitt 6-1.

The winning franchises both earned four points whilst Murray’s Mavericks earned two for winning more than 20 games and the Slammers prop up the table on one point. The event tours each franchise over 16 days and continues in Manila over the weekend before the league moves on to Singapore on Tuesday.

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Maria Sharapova
Andy Murray

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