Gasquet, Haas and Nalbandian score day one wins
The Boodles got off to a flying start with wins for Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas and David Nalbandian on a stunning day of tennis at Stoke Park.
Under sunny summer skies, Gasquet got the better of his compatriot Gael Monfils with an entertaining 7-6(0), 4-6, 10-6 win in the first match of the tournament. Monfils accepted defeat in the all-French battle and said he was delighted to be back at Stoke Park again to defend the title he won here last year. “It’s great to have a grass court like this to play on because you can really work on your game,” said Monfils. “Richard is a good friend of mine so we had fun and that’s why it’s good to play events like this the week before a Grand Slam – it’s relaxed but you are serious also.”
Haas, who had not played on a grass court for two years, showed few signs of rustiness against Tommy Robredo in the second match of the day. Haas won 7-6(7), 6-3 and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience of competing on a lawn court again. Haas has been hit by a series of injuries and is only playing his third tournament of the season after returning from a long spell on the sidelines at Roland Garros.
The Boodles’ crowd favourite Nalbandian made a welcome return for what is his eighth visit to Stoke Park and enjoyed a highly competitive joust with Viktor Troicki, beating the popular Serbian 3-6, 7-6(3) and 10-4 in a Champions’ tiebreak to round off the day’s tennis. Nalbandian looked delighted to be back at one of his favourite events of the year. “There are lots of reasons why I like to come back here,” said the Argentinean. “It’s a nice place to play and there are not many chances to play on grass before Wimbledon – that’s why I always play here.”
Wednesday’s Order of Play:
Play begins at 14.30
Gilles Simon versus Del Potro
David Ferrer versus Fernando Verdasco
Viktor Troicki versus Alexander Dolgopolov