Iga Swiatek
World No 1 Iga Swiatek clinched a high-quality clash against Caroline Garcia in the World Tennis League opening clash on Monday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Kites were the first team to claim victory on the opening night of the World Tennis League on Monday as they staged a comeback 35-27 victory over The Eagles.

The tournament exploded into action as Nick Kyrgios fired an ace on the opening point, and partnering Bianca Andreescu he kept a grip on proceedings to defeat Holger Rune and Eugenie Bouchard (Kites) 6-2, 6-3. After a comfortable opening set for The Eagles things tightened up in the second, and just one break of serve against Eugenie Bouchard to give her opponents a 5-3 lead settled the outcome.

The second match of the evening saw a clash between recent WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia of The Eagles against world No 1, WTA Player of the Year and ITF World Champion Iga Swiatek. In a high-quality battle, Swiatek came out on top with a well-earned 6-3, 6-4 victory to level the tie.

Key decider

The deciding match between Nick Kyrgios and Felix Auger-Aliassime also produced great entertainment as Auger-Aliassime had to fight his way into the match after dropping the opening three games. But he rose well to the challenge and quickly levelled at 3-3 before going on to snatch the set 7-5. A break for 3-2 was then enough to secure a 7-5, 6-3 victory for Auger-Aliassime and a 2-1 win for The Kites.

There are three matches in each of the six sessions, featuring a mixed doubles, a women’s singles and men’s singles. Teams get one point for each game they win, plus five bonus points for winning most games in a match. One point wins the game at deuce, there is no advantage scoring, and if sets are one set each a super tiebreak is played, first to 10. That tiebreak can be won by a single point margin. Finally, the team manager can call one timeout in each set.


Kites def Eagles 2-1 (Bianca Andreescu/Nick Kyrgios (Eagles) def Holger Rune/Eugenie Bouchard (Kites) 6-2 6-3; Iga Swiatek (Kites) def Caroline Garcia (Eagles) 6-3 6-4; Felix Auger-Aliassime (Kites) def Nick Kyrgios (Eagles) 7-5 6-3). The Kites win 35 points, The Eagles win 27 points.

Today’s fixture:

Falcons v Hawks

Grigor Dimitrov/Paula Badosa v Dominic Thiem/Sorana Cirstea

Aryna Sabalenka v Elena Rybakina

Novak Djokovic v Alexander Zverev