The Liverpool tennis tournament celebrated its 20th anniversary this year as it continues to serve as the perfect warm-up event for Wimbledon.
It’s hosted the likes of Novak Djokovic and Emma Raducanu in the past, and it’s a far cry from the public parks it hosted the tournament in.
Tournament director Anders Borg initially simply wanted to stage a competition in a city where football was prevalent, and that included soccer star Steven Gerrard awarding the competition’s first champion, Marat Safin, his trophy.
But now it’s become the tournament where future stars hone their skills and have fun doing it at the same time.
“It’s an incredible tournament, it’s my first time here. I didn’t know much about it until I received the invitation when I was in Paris for Roland Garros but immediately I said yes! How lucky to play so many matches on grass and to prepare,” said Dimitar Kuzmanov, winner of the tournament.
“I wanted to come here so badly, the atmosphere is so different, it was hard to get used to with so many people around. But they came to have fun and it was fantastic, I really liked it. better played day by day.
“I can say very clearly that there are not so many places that could attract so many good players. It’s quite an achievement and I was delighted to come here and win. I’m really excited now to go to Wimbledon.
But Kuzmanov is not the only one with so much enthusiasm for Liverpool, Borg has also reflected on the tournament and hopes it was good preparation for the next Grand Slam competition.
“We had a spectacular three days of lawn tennis here at Liverpool with wonderful performances from all the players. It’s great for everyone to be able to enjoy live tennis and we wish all our Wimbledon participants the best of luck.
Wimbledon kicks off on June 27.