10:07AM, Thursday 29 June 2017
Major winner Juan Martin del Potro said he will ‘be ready’ for Wimbledon next week as he ramped up his preparation for the tournament at The Boodles yesterday (Wednesday).
The Argentinean imposed his physical game on the court at Stoke Park but was taken all the way by Gilles Simon, whose technical style contrasted nicely in the exhibition match played in a relaxed atmosphere.
Although the rain which ended the opener between Ricardas Berankis and Denis Shapovalov subsided, the champagne continued to pour down in the stands – with the game-deciding tie break, won my del Potro, interrupted when a cork landed at the feet of Simon.
Both men praised the tournament held at the venue in Stoke Poges, which offers players a chance to get the feel of Wimbledon specification courts in the week before the real thing begins.
After drawing the two set match, del Potro came out on top in a 10-point tie breaker. He said: “It’s an amazing tournament before Wimbledon, I love to come and play on this court. The atmosphere is great and I love playing in front of you guys.
“For Wimbledon, I will be ready. Always when I come to London I feel something special and I’m so happy to be playing on grass again.
“I think it’s good preparation to see how the body feels and how the game is. I think when you play seriously you can improve a little bit, and that’s why I decided to play this event.
“Always Wimbledon is a big challenge for me, but I think I’m doing well this season. I could be better, but I had a tough draw in the last tournaments. I’ve been playing Federer, Djokovic, Murray and these guys in the first rounds.
“But I’m looking forward to playing my best tennis on grass because I like to play on this surface. And then if I’m okay and I feel strong enough, I can do a good tournament.”
Later in the day Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a tie break and Jan-Lennard Struff saw off Benoit Paire.
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