The Lions’ dramatic 21-24 win against the mighty All Blacks on Saturday, embodied the PlayBrave mantra of staying cool under pressure and playing brave in the big moments.
Hot on the heels of the Lions, The Boodles at Stoke Park, promised another day of entertainment, excitement and endless champagne popping! The Lions fan-base has a real family feel. Similarly, on a sunny Saturday, it was clear that today was the day for families to take in the tennis together, enjoy the great hospitality and get active – be that through table tennis or croquet!
The players and fans alike brimmed with expectation, as they finalised preparations for The Championships at Wimbledon, among the backdrop of the stunning Stoke Park Country Club and Spa.
Simon and the PlayBrave team were busy with curious customers from the-off – PlayBrave’s bespoke tennis collection proving to be a hit with the tennis savvy consumers at Stoke Park.
With Wimbledon just around the corner, the day looked set to be a big step-up in intensity, from the previous 4 days of play – with players keen to replicate the pressure that culminates at SW19.
The first match of the day saw the next generation of players take centre stage. The young players provided a classic – with American Sebastian Corda edging out Colombian Nicolas Mejia 10-9. The unique format meant that players were very relaxed as a result, with some exquisite exhibition shot making throughout the best of 19 game match.
Fan favourite Nicolas Mejia commented “This has been the best tournament I have been (in) by and far and (like) the people are everything. How they treat the players is really nice.”
Both players proceeded to pose for photographs, give autographs and engage with hordes of delighted children – as they took advantage of the exclusive access that you’re afforded as fans, at The Boodles.
The second match of the day saw Australian Thomas Kokkinakis face off with Damir Dzumbhar. With both competing at Wimbledon next week, the increase in tension was palpable – both players keen to fine-tune their game for SW19. Ahead of his showdown with Juan Del Potro, Kokkinakis was optimistic, after success both at Queen’s where he beat Milos Raonic and throughout the week at The Boodles. Kokkinakis commented: “I’m looking forward to it, it should be a good match”.
The penultimate match at the star-studded tournament saw German Dustin Brown beat Renzo Olivo in straight sets, in what was a convincing and impressive win, for cool customer, Brown. Despite the Argentinian bringing a large group of friends, they were unable to inspire Olivo to victory. Instead, the crowd were treated to Brown’s trademark drop shot – as the German looked to recapture the sort of form that saw him famously beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015.When asked about his preparations for Wimbledon, Brown commented “Everyone wants to do well, everyone wants to win, but I’ve just got to go round-by-round.”
Boodles Tennis - the best kept secret in British tennis, was fittingly ended by a British quartet, who were keen to put on a good show for the adoring gallery. A sun-soaked Stoke Park was quite the contrast from the first day rain. An appreciative crowd sat back and took in the spectacle.
For the final rubber, Jay Clarke partnered up with man of the moment, Marcus Willis. The inexperienced double partners took on Scott Clayton and Jonny O’Mara. With wildcard entries in the doubles, to Wimbledon, The Boodles provided the perfect platform to practise, in an idyllic setting. The two sets were played in great spirit, with Willis and Clarke delighting the gallery with their wit and charm on court. However, this charisma wasn’t enough for them to get over the line, as they lost 6-2, 6-2, to the well-drilled and professional partnership of Clayton and O’Mara.
When asked about Boodles, Willis said: “The facilities here are incredible. It’s a pleasure to be here, the courts are nice, and it’s great practice for Wimbledon”.
So, that was that. The Boodles at Stoke Park 2017 is officially over! What a week. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have and we look forward to a fantastic fortnight of tennis at Wimbledon. Is there any better preparation for the Grand Slam on grass, than The Boodles at Stoke Park?!
PlayBrave Managing Director, Simon Dowell, reflected: “There’s been some great tennis all week, a fantastic atmosphere as always, but today in particular we saw grass court tennis at its very best.”
Simon concluded: “We’re really looking forward to coming back next year…”
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