US tennis star Serena Williams played in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) second- leg in Manila on Sunday (6 December) and said it was good preparation for next season. Williams won her singles match for the Philippine Mavericks, her first competitive game since having her Grand Slam dream shattered in the semi-final of the US Open in September by unseeded Roberta Vinci. After Sunday's play Williams told journalists the match helped her shape up.
"It's fun. That's why I'm here again, because I had a lot of fun last year and I definitely want you to continue it. I was forced out early from my year and it's a good opportunity for me to get some more tennis in and get ready. So it felt really good."
She said playing in the Philippines was good for her, but she had needed the previous months off. "Well, I never lacked motivation, I just was really injured and I've always been motivated, so I just had to get better, you know and be able just to walk without being in pain and you know, I just really needed some time off."
Now in its second year and modelled on the successful Indian Premier League cricket competition, the IPTL format involves a five-match format made up of a men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, mixed doubles and a past champions' singles match. The competition in Manila will continue until Tuesday (8 December), with further events taking place in Dubai, New Delhi and Singapore.