The Boodles at Stoke Park is fast approaching. The five-star luxury hotel & spa plays host once a year to a week-long pre-Wimbledon exhibition event and here at PlayBrave, we're very excited to be the official clothing partner throughout the week.
The ‘best kept secret’ in tennis proudly boasts the ability to attract some of the best names on the ATP tour to attend the event and 2017 is no different.
With that said, here is a full list of the class of 2017 for The Boodles: Alexander Zverev, Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut, Nick Kyrgios, Alberto Ramos-Vinolas, Juan Martin del Potro, Gilles Simon, Benoit Paire, Philipp Kohlschreiber & Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Listed are some of the most well-known and highly regarded tennis players in the world, however, in order of their ATP tour ranking, here is a fact file for each of the players that will be at The Boodles at Stoke Park.
Alexander Zverev is one of the most exciting players on the ATP tour at the minute. The German stands at a huge 6”6 feet tall and turned pro in 2013 at the age of 16. Now 20, Zverev, whose nickname is ‘Sascha’ has four singles career titles including St Petersburg, Rome and Munich.
In 2015, Zverev was named the ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by Emirates for being the youngest player to finish in the Top 100.
Fluent in three languages (German, Russian and English) Zverev has been playing tennis since the age of five.
Tennis is in Zverev’s blood. His Father, also named Alexander is now his tennis coach, his Mother, Irena is a tennis coach, whilst his brother Mischa, finished a year-end best No. 51 in 2016.
Pablo Carreno Busta:
Pablo Carreno Busta is currently enjoying the best form of his career and is now duly sitting higher than ever before at 17th in the ATP rankings.
Having begun playing tennis at the age of six, Carreno Busta turned professional in 2009 and quickly established clay as his favourite playing surface.
The 25-year-old is known for his fierce backhand, a technique that he tries to perfect at the JC Ferrero Equelite Club near his home in Alicante.
Having been born and brought up in Gijon, Spain, Carreno Busta is a passionate supporter of his hometown club – Sporting Gijon.
The Spaniard has won three titles in both singles and doubles, forming formidable partnerships with Rafael Nadal in 2016 and then Pablo Cuevas in 2017, both partnerships led to titles – in Beijing and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
Roberto Bautista Agut:
29-year-old, Robert Bautista Agut has been a pro on the tour since 2005 but didn’t win his first title until 2014, when he won both the Stuttgart Open and S-Hertogenbosch Open in the Netherlands.
Sporting ability runs through Bautista Agut’s blood, up to the age of 14 he played football for Spanish side Villareal and only stopped to pursue a career in tennis.
In his free-time, the Spaniard enjoys horse riding and owns two horses of his own. Bautista Agut is Currently ranked at 19th, six places below his career high of 13th.
In 2014, Bautista Agut was voted the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year Award, voted for by his fellow professionals.
Nick Kyrgios was born in Canberra, Australia to Greek and Malaysian parents. As a youngster Kyrgios enjoyed a wide variety of sports, but most specifically tennis and basketball.
Whilst he was growing up, Kyrgios had many role models including Roger Federer, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett and Michael Jordan.
Known for his powerful serve, Kyrgios has bags of ability and the potential to go to the very top of the game.
As well as playing tennis, Kyrgios is also an avid supporter of the Elena Baltacha Foundation and often initiates ideas at key tournaments to help raise funds.
The Boodles is the perfect warm-up for Kyrgios, to help him get ready for his favourite event – Wimbledon.
Kyrgios will be hoping to add to his growing list of career titles, having already won three titles in Tokyo, Atlanta and Marseille, despite only turning pro in 2013.
Albert Ramos Vinolas
Inspired by his Father, Guzman. Albert Ramos Vinolas started playing tennis at the age of five at the local club in Mataro, a part of Barcelona.
Like his fellow countrymen Bautista Agut and Carreno Busta, Ramos Vinolas is also a big football fan, however, his alliances lie with FC Barcelona and he has admitted that he tries to get to the Camp Nou (Barcelona’s stadium) at every opportunity.
A self-professed family fan, Ramos Vinolas enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends when not on the Tour.
On the court, Ramos Vinolas prefers to play on the clay and his favourite shot is the forehand. Off the court, the 29-year-old is also currently pursuing an online business degree.
Juan Martin del Potro:
Formerly the fourth best player in the world, but now ranked at 31st, Juan Martin del Potro will be hoping that The Boodles at Stoke Park is a perfect warm up for Wimbledon this year.
Otherwise known as ‘Delpo’, the Argentine started playing tennis at the age of five and turned professional at the age of 17 in 2005.
Having been named as the ATP Comeback Player of the Year in both 2011 and 2016, del Potro’s crowning moment to date was winning the US Open in 2009.
2009 proved to be a very successful year for ‘la torre de Tandil’ (the tower of Tandil) as well as claiming the US Open, del Potro also won in Washington and Auckland, a year that led to a career high 4th in the ATP rankings.
Originally from Nice, France but residing in Switzerland, Gilles Simon will be another seasoned pro attending The Boodles at Stoke Park.
Known for his backhand, as a young player ‘Gilou’ took inspiration from American tennis player Michael Chang, with Simon saying: “He showed me that you don’t have to be tall in order to be a great player.”
As a child, Simon dreamt of playing in front of a packed-out crowd on Centre Court at Wimbledon, a dream he managed to fulfil in 2015 when he took on fellow Frenchman Gaels Monfils in 2015.
Despite his love for Wimbledon, the 32-year-old has maintained that if he could win any tournament in tennis, then it would be the Rolland Garros in his home country of France.
Having been a career high 6th in 2009, Simon will be hoping that at 32, he has still has time to reach the pinnacle of tennis.
Nicknamed ‘La Tige’ (the stalk) due to his tall and thin physique, Benoit Paire started playing tennis at the age of 6 with his Father who worked at a small tennis club next to their house in Avignon, France.
As a youngster, Paire idolised former ATP World No. 1, Marat Safin, citing the Russian as one of the biggest influences in Paire deciding to try and become a professional tennis player.
This was a feat he achieved in 2007 at the age of 18 and since then Paire has gone on to win a solitary title in both singles and doubles.
The Frenchman’s first title came in Chennai, in 2013, where he teamed up with current world number three Stan Wawrinka to take home the trophy.
Paire’s other love aside from tennis is football and the 28-year-old is an avid fan of French club Marseille and has stated on many occasion how much he would have loved to play for Les Olympiens.
The oldest tennis player that will be attending The Boodles at Stoke Park, Philipp Kohlschreiber has been a consistent figure in tennis since 2001, when the German turned professional.
At his peak, Kohlschreiber reached a career high of 16th in the ATP Tour Rankings, however, since then has slipped down to 56th in the table.
Despite residing in Austria, Kohlschreiber trains at the TennisBase Oberhaching in Munich and has won the Munich Open on three occasions (2007, 2012 and 2016.)
This won’t be the first time that Kohlschreiber has made an appearance at Stoke Park for The Boodles and despite professing that hard courts and clay are his preferred services, his big game is very much suited to the grass courts at Stoke Park.
The only player attending The Boodles that isn’t currently ranked inside the ATP Top 100, Thanasi Kokkinakis will be expected to make a huge leap in the rankings after claiming a massive scalp against current world number six Milos Raonic in the first round at the AEGON Championships at The Queens Club last week.
Like his compatriot, Nick Kyrgios, Kokkinakis was also born in Australia to Greek parents and as such can speak both English and Greek fluently.
The 21-year-old turned professional in 2013, but up until that point it was touch and go as to whether Kokkinakis would stick with tennis or follow his other passion and become and NBA basketball player.
It will certainly be a star-studded event this week at The Boodles, with the champagne flowing, gourmet food and great tennis, you couldn’t ask for a much better week.