STOKE PARK, June 24, 2016
Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev showcased why they are hotly tipped as the Next Generation of tennis stars as they wowed The Boodles crowd with an entertaining display.
Both players enjoyed themselves on court as they joked with the Stoke Park crowd in their final preparations ahead of their first round matches at Wimbledon.
Australia’s Kyrgios, who could potentially face Andy Murray in the fourth round of the Championships, sneaked a 6-3, 7-6(13) victory.
“I feel like I play my best tennis when I’m a bit relaxed out there and obviously when I get to play a good friend like Alex, he’s one of the up and comers, he’s top 25 in the world and he’s playing unbelievable tennis at the moment, so that was a lot of fun out there today.
“Glad to get a full match out there, we probably played for almost two hours in total so that’s perfect for me and I feel my matches over the past couple of days have helped me a lot.
Commenting on his first round Wimbledon draw against Radek Stepanek, Kyrgios added: “He’s [Stepanek] a good friend of mine and I played him a long time ago in my first ever Grand Slam match and he’s always been a guy that’s been friendly to me and he actually helped me a little bit over this year not as a coach but just in general when I needed him to help and advise. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ve already messaged him about it and we’re both good mates so it’s going to be fun out there.
Afterwards Zverev reflected on his good run of form over the past two weeks as he heads into Wimbledon:
“I’ve been playing well the past two weeks, I’ve made two finals in the last three tournaments that I’ve played so I’m feeling quite comfortable. After having a great week in Halle I really feel prepared to play Wimbledon but I do have a tough draw with Mathieu [Paul-Henri] in the first round, hopefully I can get through that and then we’ll see how far I go can.
“For me it doesn’t really matter what surface I’m on, I play well on all the surfaces if I play well myself, so it depends more on how I’m playing rather than the surface. I feel quite good on grass right now, I played some really good matches in Halle so we’ll see how it goes at Wimbledon. I’ve been working hard all season and I think it’s paying off now,” he added.
In a welcome addition to the player field crowd favourite Grigor Dimitrov beat David Goffin in a close encounter that went to a third set tie-break. Coming through 6-3, 6-7(4), 12-10 Dimitrov said it was great to get some extra matches under his belt:
“The grass is a bit different here to Wimbledon so it helps your focus and you have to be a little more cautious so it keeps you aware and I like that. It’s such a great feeling to be on the Championship courts at Wimbledon and you just want to embrace that feeling as much as you can. It’s obviously a great field at Wimbledon so it’s good to get a couple of solid matches early on. I had a really solid match today, we ran a lot and played for nearly two hours. I always appreciate the crowd here.
“I’ve been happy with my preparation and now it’s just the fine tuning over the past few days, like finding the right balance for the strings and the weather has been a little dodgy so I’ve just been trying to find a balance and then I’m ready to play.”
Goffin who will face Great Britain’s Alex Ward in the first round of Wimbledon explained why The Boodles has been a great preparation for the Championships: “It’s my first time here and it’s a great atmosphere, the club is amazing and it’s always nice to have some matches before a Grand Slam so it was the perfect practice. I’ve had two great matches with Novak (Djokovic) and Dimitrov so it’s been a great two days and I hope it will be good preparation for Wimbledon.
“I think I’ve played Alex [Ward] in an ATP Challenger three or four years ago and it’s always a good atmosphere when you play a British player on a nice court with a big crowd.”
In the day’s other matches Viktor Trocki beat Juan Mónaco 6-2, 6-4 and Nicolas Almagro beat Robin Haase 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-6.
Results – Friday 24 June 2016
Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Juan Monaco (ARG) 62 64
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Alexander Zverev (GER) 63 76(13)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) d. David Goffin (BEL) 63 67 12-10
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v Robin Haase (NED) 63 67(5) 10-6