What does it take to make a champion? Practice, practice, and er, a luxurious few days spent on the grass courts of the Hurlingham Club, apparently.
Current Wimbledon Men’s Champion Andy Murray will be back in SW6 for the annual BNP Paribas Tennis Classic, regarded by those in the know as the warm-up to Wimbledon. This intimate venue is the perfect setting for a summer’s day watching world-class tennis close-up, without any of the hassle, bother or crowds that come with venturing down the road to the grand dame of British tennis, otherwise known as Wimbledon. The phrase most often touted about here is “secret tennis,” and it’s really not far off the mark. This is the event that the other spectators don’t want you to find out about – but they’re only elusive because this is so exclusive.
Murray will be hoping to showcase the form that helped him win the most coveted trophy in British tennis, revealing that “playing at the Hurlingham Club last June was the perfect way for me to warm up for Wimbledon. It’s a great setting and I’m looking forward to playing again this year.” Fan favourite Andrew Castle re-iterated this, commenting that “[the Tennis Classic] is right before Wimbledon, so everybody wants practice on top-class grass courts – which these are!”
Alongside Murray, Tim Henman and Mark Philippoussis will also be putting in some court time – although the Aussie will surely be hoping he isn’t beset by the back injury that hampered his game against Henman at the Statoil Masters Tennis in January. Crowd favourite Mansour Bahrami will no doubt also be up to his usual tricks, confirming his “court jester” moniker. Guests can also expect the kind of VIP hospitality that the Hurlingham has become world-famous for. Let the secret tennis begin!
The BNP Paribas Tennis Classic runs from Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th June at the Hurlingham, Ranelagh Gardens, London, SW6 3PR. Packages are priced from £150 inc. VAT per person. For booking information, call 020 8233 5854 or go to www.BNPParibasTennisClassic.com.