This tournament has been going a long time now and it magically got better since I started getting free tickets as it moved to the club I play tennis for, Liverpool Cricket Club. It has been very on and off over the years, the weather often contributing to its downfall more than the quality of tennis. Its first year at the Cricket Club hailed success but from what I saw it was a complete flop. This year I was only able to attend the Thursday which was disappointing as I would have liked to see Mansour Bahrami again because he does always entertain the crowd and it’s fun to watch. However the grass looked in much better condition this year and the line judges and ball boys looked much better trained and got very little wrong.
There was a very good mixture of professional talent, legends for entertainment, and local up and coming talent. Aljaž Bedene vs. Damir Džumhur was the main match for me as someone who wanted to enjoy the highest quality of tennis possible. Bedene is the new British number 2, is still very young, and has a ton of potential but also proved to be quite charismatic in this affair, as did Džumhur, the two of them putting on match of high professional standard but also with a bit of flair, entertaining the relatively small crowd. The tennis was of the highest standard I have seen for a few years with Andrey Rublev returning again to join the two professionals previously mentioned as well as the late entrant Pablo Andújar who I unfortunately didn’t get to see. The quality however made the turn-out of the crowd quite disappointing. I understand that the majority of people are in work on a Thursday afternoon and the tickets aren’t the cheapest but none of the stands were close to being full. More credit to all the professionals playing to make it as entertaining as it was because they couldn’t have been blamed for being annoyed with the turnout.
I hope Saturday wasn’t ruined too much by the rain and the turnout was a bit better for the three days that I didn’t attend but I thoroughly enjoyed my day and hopefully it will remain in Liverpool and at the Cricket Club for next year because I would definitely go again.