Aces edge Warriors in Kobe

Defending International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) champs, the Micromax Indian Aces, kicked off their 2015 campaign with a narrow 25-24 victory over the Japan Warriors on Wednesday.

Spearheading the Aces' effort this year is Rafael Nadal and Samantha Stosur, while Kei Nishikori and Maria Sharapova are leading the Warriors' charge.

The Warriors took the early lead in the tie after Sharapova and French doubles expert Pierre-Hugues Herbert won the mixed doubles 6-5 against Indian duo Sania Mirza and compatriot Rohan Bopanna.

Sharapova then secured another victory for her side by beating Stosur 6-4 in the women's singles.

The legends singles match would end up being crucial to the Aces victory, however, as Fabrice Santoro secured a surprisingly comprehensive 6-2 victory over Marat Safin.

The Aces also captured the men's doubles when Bopanna and Gael Monfils combined to edge Nishikori and Herbert 6-4.

Japanese star Nishikori thrilled the Japanese fans in Kobe by defeating Monfils 6-4, but even though the Warriors came out on top in three of the five matches, the margin of their defeats were such that the Aces managed to win 25 games to their 24.

Last year’s rule that a team had to win the final set to take victory despite having a lead is not in effect this year, so there was no need for a shootout following Nishikori's victory.

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