Day 5 at The Boodles: Stakhovsky and Tomic fine-tune preparations for Wimbledon on final day
The final day of The Boodles 2018 took place on another blazing day at Stoke Park, with Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky, Bernard Tomic, Andreas Seppi, Vasek Pospisil and Liam Broady making their final preparations ahead of Wimbledon.
British players Marcus Willis and Liam Broady kicked off the action at 12.30pm, each playing their third match of the week at The Boodles. Willis lost to Dan Evans in Wimbledon pre-qualifying this season, but he made things interesting against Broady, who eventually emerged the winner of their clash 46 63 10-8 .
After receiving a wild card into the Wimbledon main draw, Broady will face 2016 finalist Canada's Milos Raonic in round one.
“I feel really positive,” Broady shared. “I feel like I'm in the best place I've been mentally and game-wise for quite a while now. Again, this week has been a fantastic build-up, playing the three matches here at The Boodles. I've got the experience and the readiness under my belt, playing in front of a crowd. And I'm looking forward to playing on Monday.”
Canada's Raonic has struggled with injury woes since his 2016 Wimbledon run.
“Class is permanent, so he's definitely always going to be a tough match, no matter what's going on,” Broady emphasised. “And I'm just going to go out there and prepare as if I'm going to play the best Milos there is.”
The second match of the day pitted experienced Italian Andreas Seppi against Sergiy Stakhovsky – two men who have previously beaten Roger Federer at a Grand Slam. Stakhovsky did so at Wimbledon in 2013, and this year the Ukrainian will play in the main draw courtesy of a wild card following a win at the Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy Challenger event.
“It's not the easiest draw, but it's not the worst one,” Stakhovsky said of his first round clash with Joao Sousa. “I've played Joao before, and I've lost twice to him on indoor hard-courts. So I know how he plays, he knows how I play. It's going to be a tricky match to start. I believe I'm playing pretty well on grass, but you never know how the day's going to start and how the matches are going to start, so you just try to focus on the beginning and play one ball at a time.”
Seppi came out on the losing side of their straight sets encounter 63 63 at The Boodles, but he will be hoping to emerge triumphant from his first round match at Wimbledon next week.
“I am playing John-Patrick Smith from Australia,” said the Italian. “He's a lefty, I have never played him before. But he's very dangerous, especially on this surface, because he serve-and-volleys, comes into the net in many times. But I'm feeling okay, so hopefully I can play some good tennis.”
An all-Australian duel between Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis took centre stage in Saturday's third match. Neither player managed to break serve in a close and entertaining opening set, but it was Kokkinakis – who played three matches at The Boodles last year – who finished the match on the right side of the scoreline 76(5) 62.
Both Kokkinakis and Tomic lost in the final round of Wimbledon qualifying, but the latter made the main draw as a lucky loser after several withdrawals.
"I was sick the whole of yesterday and the day before," explained Tomic. "I got another chance to play in Wimbledon so for me it's good, I'm still trying to recover and do the right things because I'm not my best but I've still got a few days to go."
Rounding out a stellar Saturday, home star James Ward took on Canada's Vasek Pospisil – Ward's victor in the third round of Wimbledon 2015. It was Pospisil's debut at The Boodles and his 62 61 win proved the perfect preparation for the fortnight ahead.
"Surprisingly felt really good all round, I really couldn't have played a much better match so perfect preparation for Wimbledon and I'm very happy with how I served and how I played. It was my first time at The Boodles and I hope I'll be back many more times because I really enjoyed it."
The Boodles rounded off it's seventeenth year in resplendent sunshine in the beautiful setting of Stoke Park.
Saturday 30th June 2018
Liam Broady (GBR) d. Marcus Willis (GBR) 46 63 10-8
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Andreas Seppi (ITA) 63 63
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d. Bernard Tomic (AUS) 76(5) 62
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. James Ward (GBR) 62 61