MATCH PREDICTION: Higher ranked players, CTL experience to favour Punjab over Mumbai

WELL BALANCED TEAMS, Punjab Marshalls and Mumbai Tennis Masters, will kick-off their Champions Tennis League (CTL) campaign at the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) courts in Mumbai, today. 

While the Marshalls will be relying on last year's CTL experience, the home team will strongly pin their hopes on former and current Grand Slam champions.

TFG analyses each game and picks winners for the inaugural match of the second edition:


First up, Legends Richard Krajicek and Greg Rusedski will open up proceedings and one can expect some textbook serve and volley from the former pros. Krajicek and Rusedski might also try to mix up their game a bit, but it is hard to see them spending too much time at the baseline. Although both players are not playing major tournaments anymore, Rusedski’s experience of playing in the CTL last year, should help him keep his nose in front. 

Winner: Rusedski


Reigning US Open champion, Flavia Pennetta will then take on the upcoming Elina Svitolina in the women’s section. Svitolina might have climbed up the rankings with some consistent showing, but the experience and current form of her opponent might just prevent her from grabbing some crucial points. 

Winner: Pennetta 


Pennetta will continue to remain on the court for her mixed doubles match. The Italian will team up with Colombian, Santiago Giraldo, while, Svitolina will pair up with Marcos Baghdatis. Although the Cypriot could draw upon his experience of playing in the previous edition of CTL, but any distinct advantage for his team can be ruled out. Both teams look even on paper and one can expect some intriguing rallies from all four players. There are no favourites here and this could turn out to be the most exciting match of the evening. But Baghdatis might be able to pull through this match for his team on sheer CTL experience.

Winner: Baghdatis/Svitolina


In the fourth set of the evening, Baghdatis will take court  with India’s Saketh Myneni for the men’s doubles. On the other side of the net will be the pair of Giraldo and Sriram Balaji. The Indo-Colombian pair will start the match as the underdogs. Giraldo is yet to establish himself as an accomplished doubles player and Balaji too isn’t coming off big wins under his belt. Meanwhile, Baghdatis/Myneni have teamed up last year and will have the edge over their opponents. 

Winner: Baghdatis/Myneni 


The final match in the singles category between Baghdatis and Giraldo might produce some long, hard-hitting rallies from the back court. Neither player has a huge serve and volleying too would be a rarity. Expect both players to settle their scores from the baseline. The Cypriot is the higher ranked player on the ATP tour and it could eventually come down to a few crucial moments. 

Winner: Baghdatis 

Considering current form, rankings, and experience, the Punjab Marshalls are all set to start their campaign on a winning note, while the Mumbai Tennis Masters might have been a tad unlucky to have to faced the strongest team in their opener. 

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