Djokovic pulls out of IPTL, Aces and Royals win


Indian Aces and UAE Royals made winning starts in the International Premier Tennis League on the day world number one Novak Djokovic opted to withdraw from the event.

The second season of the IPTL got underway in Kobe on Wednesday, with the Aces recording a narrow 25-24 victory over Japan Warriors despite being beaten in three of their five one-set matches.

Fabrice Santoro's 6-2 win over Marat Safin in a legends' singles contest ultimately proved crucial for the Aces, who prevailed despite Maria Sharapova recording victories for the Warriors in singles and doubles.

In the other opening-day contest, the Royals won four out of five rubbers to claim a comfortable 26-20 triumph over Singapore Slammers, for whom Nick Kyrgios' 6-2 win against Tomas Berdych proved in vain.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Slammers will be bolstered by the addition of Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, two of the top four players in the ATP rankings.

However, Djokovic will no longer represent the Singapore franchise as he opts to rest after a gruelling season.

"I had a great experience in the inaugural edition of the IPTL and was eagerly looking forward to playing in the second season, especially in front of the home crowd in Singapore," said the Serbian.

"It's been a long year for me and my body needs some extra time to recover. I wish the team the very best and will join them next year."