Murray and Djokovic serve up quality clash at The Boodles
World No.1 Novak Djokovic and British hero Andy Murray thrilled a capacity crowd at The Boodles on Thursday, both showing the sort of blistering grass-court tennis that they will be hoping to produce at Wimbledon next week.
“We came to have some good match practice this year before Wimbledon, playing with Andy this year was great and we’re both very happy,” said five-time grand slam champion Djokovic. “I am satisfied with the way I’m feeling and i’m striking the ball really well. It takes a little bit of time to adjust from clay to grass but I think I’ll be ready.”
Djokovic said he was looking forward to defending the title he won there last year as part of what was a stunning 2011 season. “I’m in love with the sport, I’ve dedicated everything to tennis, I won Wimbledon last year, became No.1, something I always dreamed of but I think there are plenty for years to come and I hope to win lots more tournaments,” he said.
Murray, who also took on Janko Tipsarevic on Wednesday, said he had enjoyed his return to The Boodles despite losing the match against Djokovic 6-4, 6-4. “It’s great to play here. I’ve had a couple of good matches. The results are not so important - it’s about getting time on the grass.”
The weather played a part in shortening Juan Martin Del Potro’s encounter with Alexandr Dolgopolov. Del Potro had won the first set 6-1, with Dolgopolov ahead 5-2 when rain interrupted play. The third scheduled match of the day, between Stanislas Wawrinka and Gilles Simon, was not played. More than two hours of play was completed and there was plenty of entertainment to be had outside of the matches themselves, with players taking part in Question and Answer sessions in the Players’ Enclosure hospitality area and Djokovic and Murray chatting amiably on court to The Boodles MC Zoe Hardman.
Friday sees Fernando Verdasco take on US superstar John Isner, followed by last week’s Queen’s champion Marin Cilic against Nicolas Almagro. The third match is yet to be confirmed.
Order of Play Friday 22nd June 2012
Fernando Verdasco v John Isner
Marin Cilic v Nicolas Almagro
3rd match to be confirmed