Day Five of The Boodles 2015
Ivanisevic adds sparkle to The Boodles
The final day of The Boodles 2015 saw the best of the past and future of tennis grace Stoke Park's grass courts. 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic delighted the crowds with old friend Cedric Pioline, whilst the world's top junior Taylor Fritz gave the crowd a glimpse of the talent which recently took him to the final of junior Roland Garros with a match against fellow rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas. Spectators also enjoyed two matches from the current elite of the mens' game with Jack Sock taking on Fernando Verdasco and Radek Stepanek playing Nicolas Almagro.
A visitor to The Boodles in his playing days, Goran was delighted to be invited back to Stoke Park telling the crowd after his match:
"I really enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to play with Cedric. He's a great guy and this is such a fantastic place, thanks to Patricio Apey for inviting me to come and play!"
The former Wimbledon champion took some time to reminisce about the Grand Slam just around the corner:
"Every time I go to Wimbledon I go to the wall where my name is, just to be sure that it is still there because sometimes I don't believe I did it, so I go there and see my name with all those amazing champions. It's still there, I checked it the other day, so I'm happy."
"It's still really special to go back to Wimbledon. It's the biggest, the best, the nicest tournament and when they open the grass courts, it's so nice and green. It's the most difficult surface to play on but it's still beautiful.
"I'm now here as a coach (with Marin Cilic) so it's different but still great. Marin is in good form and hopefully he can do well next week."
Cedric Pioline was just happy to win the set and champions tie-break match: 6-6 (10-7)
"Finally I beat Goran! It's twenty years I'm waiting for that."
All thoughts were turning to SW19 with players completing their grass-court preparations at Stoke Park:
"It's always very special to play at SW19, it's a beautiful tournament and you feel lucky to be there every day. You always try to enjoy as much as you can and hopefully it's going to be a good year."
"I had a rough start to the year. I had surgery on my pelvis, tore a muscle so was out for a few months. But I'm healthy now, feeling good and excited to be back here in London."
"At Wimbledon, the doubles side will be tough to repeat but we'll do our best and then the singles side, I'm going to go out and do the best that I can and hopefully advance in the draw as far as I can. But more just enjoy it, it's the most historic tournament we have in our sport so it's always good to be back."
"We played nine holes of golf yesterday here at Stoke Park. It's an unbelievable course here and we had a lot of fun. I love to play golf when I can so it was good fun."
"To play Nico is always tough, he's a great fighter, I know he has some youth against me, so it was a pretty intense match."
"I think the British crowd may be behind him (Aljaz Bedene) at Wimbledon but it's ok."
"I was here a couple of years ago and it's always a pleasure to come back and see the enthusiasm of the crowd here for the game."
"It was amazing to play a few matches before Wimbledon. I'm very happy with my tennis on grass this week but I need to do a little bit better in the coming weeks."
"It was a tough match, I wanted to beat him, we have some history, he beat me at the Davis Cup final and well, that was so important for me, he's a really, really good player and on this surface he's very dangerous but I'm very happy to be back on court."
"At Wimbledon it will be a really tough match against Gilles (Simon) but I'm ready to fight and we'll see if I can beat him."
Taylor Fritz (USA) d. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 64 62
Jack Sock (USA) d. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 64 64
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) d. Cedric Pioline (FRA) 6-6 (10-7)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 64 67(5) 10-8
The Boodles wraps up another successful year of star players, sparkling jewels and wonderful hospitality and we look to returning next year with some special celebrations for our 15th year. Tickets for The Boodles 2016 are on sale, Book Now