Del Potro stars at Boo­dles

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Renzo Olivo – 7-5 6-3 – Brown said: “It’s very nice to be back. I came out here to try to fine-tune some things. The at­mos­phere here is al­ways great.

“I’m feel­ing very good, very con­fi­dent, es­pe­cially in [the] Halle [Open]. [The] first cou­ple of weeks I was still try­ing to fig­ure out how to play and in Halle I found a very good mix. I’m play­ing very well, serv­ing well es­pe­cially, and hope­fully I can carry that into [Wimbledon].

Brown – pic­tured, right – beat Portugal’s João Sousa at Wimbledon on Mon­day to earn his plum draw as beaten Boo­dles op­po­nent, Argentinian Olivo, bowed out to an­other player who was on court at Stoke Park.

Bos­nian Damir Džumhur – who saw off Olivo 6-2 6-0 6-1 at SW19 on Mon­day – was set to tackle Brit Al­jaž Be­dene yes­ter­day. Džumhur, 25, was play­ing his first match at Stoke Park af­ter winning an ATP Chal­lenger ti­tle on clay the pre­vi­ous week.

One Boo­dles op­po­nent who did over­come the Bos­nian at Stoke Park was Wimbledon wild card Thanasi Kokki­nasi, who won 5-7 7-6 (10-8) in a match tie break but the Aussie could not raise his game again on Tues­day as he ex­ited SW19 in the first round to an­other Boo­dles favourite, Juan Martin del Potro, 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-4.

Re­turn­ing to The Boo­dles for a sec­ond straight year, Grand Slam cham­pion Del Potro – seeded 30th at Wimbledon and due to face Lat­vian Ernests Gul­bis in the sec­ond round at Wimbledon to­day – ap­peared to have shaken off the groin in­jury at Boo­dles that had seen him pull out of Queen’s a week ear­lier.

Del Potro and op­po­nent Gilles Si­mon en­ter­tained a packed crowd with some thrilling ral­lies and big serves as the 2013 Wimbledon semi-fi­nal­ist, who won 6-3 3-6 10-5, said the con­test was a good work­out.

“I feel fan­tas­tic,” the Ar­gen­tine said af­ter­wards. “We were en­joy­ing the match a lot, the at­mos­phere was re­ally, re­ally nice. Ev­ery­body was wait­ing to see our match.”

Even in the re­laxed set­ting of Stoke Park, Del Potro felt The Boo­dles pro­vided the op­por­tu­u­nity for se­ri­ous match play beefore this week’s tour­na­ment.

“I think it’s good prepa­ra­tion n to see how the body feels and how the game is,” Del Potro re­flected. “And I think when youu play se­ri­ously you can im­provee a lit­tle bit, and that’s why I de- cided to play this event.”

The Ar­gen­tine – who re­turned ed from mul­ti­ple years of in­juryry and re­peated wrist surg­eries lastst sea­son – was, how­ever, keep­ingng things in per­spec­tive.

“Al­ways Wimbledon is a bigig chal­lenge for me,” he said. “But tI I think I’m do­ing well this sea­son. n. I could be bet­ter, but I had a tough draw in re­cent tour­naa­ments. I’ve been play­ing Feder-r- er, Djokovic, Mur­ray and these guys in the first rounds.

“But I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing my best ten­nis on grass be­cause I like to play on this sur­face. If I’m okay and I feel strong enough, I can have a good tourna

ment.”

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