Winning start for Djokovic in Eastbourne in switch away from Boodles Champagne Set
By Ros Satar, in Eastbourne
- Novak Djokovic [WC/1] def. Vasek Pospisil [Q] 6-4 6-3
- Plays Donald Young in the quarter-final
- Could make his return to The Boodles in the future
EASTBOURNE, UK – Three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic finally advanced to the quarter-finals after a 24-hour delay due to rain at the Aegon International.
Novak Djokovic [WC/1] def. Vasek Pospisil [Q] 6-4 6-3
Not that anywhere last year in the tennis universe was unscathed by inclement weather but this year, the weather and tennis gods have fallen out quite spectacularly after Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil came off court after just one game.
With heavy clouds and depressing forecasts looming, the players took to the court once more, and a spirited Pospisil stayed with the 12-time Grand Slam champion until the end of the first set, when Djokovic broke him for the second time of asking to wrap up the first set.
With both players skidding about the still slick grass, the second set started competitively, with Pospisil the first break point chance of the set, but unable to convert, it spurred Djokovic to break the Canadian in the next game. It was enough of an advantage for Djokovic to hold on to, taking the match on his second match point.
Djokovic said, after the match: “I have had a great couple of days of training with good players, different styles of game. Yesterday obviously commenced the match, and it wasn’t really enjoyable to, you know, see the rain falling all day.
“But today we kind of played a full match, so I’m glad for that. I felt good on the court, considering it’s the first match. I have played against an opponent that has a really good game for grass. Serves well, comes to the net, has a good variety.”
Stepping away from the Boodles
In recent years, we have been over at Boodles, watching Djokovic entertain the well-heeled in the exhibition event at Stoke Park. It is fair to say, where crowds in Eastbourne are appreciative of a player’s space as they stroll around Devonshire Park, the champagne set are more intent for a day of entertainment.
Would the warm up events play more of a part in Djokovic’s scheduling, or does he yearn to be back among the champagne corks popping in the crowd?
He told reporters: “That’s exactly what I wanted to say. One difference that makes Boodles special from the other tournaments is the sound of the Champagne bottles being opened, and glasses, and a lot of chanting and talking and laughing in the first rows especially (smiling). People get to enjoy themselves there. And players, as well.
“You get really some good matchups, but you don’t play for points. It’s different. It’s still a match, so your score is being called, which is good for a player mentally and to get some match play, you know, and play points on the grass. But in the other hand, you don’t feel that pressure of “I need to win.”
“I like Boodles. Patricio Apey is one of the people in charge there. Has always been very kind to me. I have always felt like at home there. Came with the family, with my team. So this time, this year, it was not to be because I came to Eastbourne, but in the years to follow I’ll sure consider it to go back.”
Djokovic and Young are scheduled second on Centre Court on Thursday.
Featured Image: © Jane Stokes (DJ Stotty Images)
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