Evian Tennis

 

After a treasure hunt around London and not one but two nights at the BAFTA’s, I’ve learned that when an invite from Evian lands in my inbox, I am bound to have an incredible experience. This invite asked if I fancied going to the pre-Wimbledon BNP Paribas Tennis Classic tournament at the stately Hurlingham Club to enjoy some big names in tennis playing friendly matches, a fashion show hosted by My Wardrobe, a delicious lunch, oh and… would I want to play legendary player Henri Leconte?

Ummm. Yes. Yes I would, thankyouverymuch.

The day started *really* early for my clinic with Henri. I should probably explain I used to play a lot as a kid and wasn’t too shabby back then, but that’s now over 15 years ago, so I wasn’t too hopeful about hitting the ball at all, let alone hitting it back at Henri. I was really happy to discover it was a bit like riding a bike – I didn’t suck as much as I’d thought at all. In my head I was playing like Justine Henin or Kim Clijsters, looking at the pictures… well, not so much, but it wasn’t utter shit either. Henri is definitely a bit of a character which made it all the more entertaining (and easier to ignore the fact that I was about to collapse. Even with my recent running training that was hard work!). I’m definitely inspired to pick up my racket again, although sadly Islington doesn’t have a place as beautiful as Hurlingham…

Anyway, after a much-needed shower and downing a bottle of Evian (of course!), I got to relax and de-purplify (I’m making it a word) with a journalist for Marie-Claire in the sun for a little while before heading to the Ladies Day champagne reception. This was followed by a lovely lunch and a Wimbledon-inspired show hosted by My Wardrobe. By the time that was over, it was easy to forget we were in fact there to watch the tennis – first we got to watch Tommy Haas v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, followed by Goran Ivanisevic v Fabrice Santoro. The day before Maria Sharapova had made an appearance, the days after would see Murray and Nadal play some matches. The great thing about the tournament is that it’s about having fun, about enjoying tennis in its purest form – for enjoyment, both from the spectators’ and players’ perspective – in a very intimate venue. I would definitely consider going back next year as a relaxed alternative to super-crowded Wimbledon!

Anyway, now I can add playing tennis with a former Top 10 player to the list of incredible things that this blog has brought me! Once again, thank you so much to Evian for giving me this amazing experience!

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