Looking up at the looming brick architecture of Putney Bridge, I made my way to a destination only London’s most decadent view; the Hurlingham Club. Why? Male-Extravaganza had been chosen to attend a rather prestigious event; the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic in the Hurlingham club. The event runs from Tuesday 17 – Friday 20 June 2014 and is typicaly referred to as the ‘warm up’ to Wimbledon, a tournament where both current WTP/ATP players and iconic legends play in the grassy grounds.
Immediately upon entering the glacial white halls of the dining hall, decorated with distinctive leafy green and poppy pink floral arrangements, I knew that this was not any ordinary event. Waiters drafted in, whooshing around in all corners of the room, nervously serving food worth more than my life to the city’s hoi pollioi. I was accompanied by Emily Smythe (of Stella Artios’ Press Office at Threepipe) and esteemed fashion blogger Jai’me Jan. Emily’s cherry and flowery personality coupled with Jai’me’s eclectic interests made the event worthwhile.
Bringing an element of style to the event was My-Wardrobe‘s brief lingerie fashion show, showing off their latest SS14 pieces. Each guest was given a goodie bad, courtesy of Sugarpova, which alongside delicious gummy candy, came with Benefit ‘Beyond Mascara’ and a Benefit nail filer.
Commencing at 2pm was the culmination of the decadent festivities; the tennis. Summertime debauchery was the theme of the afternoon, sitting alongside some of the country’s finest, watching former tennis champions alongside current lodestars was awe-striking. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to tennis, but there were many recognizable faces.
The first match saw ATP players Jo-Wilfred Tsonga battle it out against Kei Nishikori. The harrowing suspense of the game between Japan’s rising star and Frances own was surpassed by a comical match between Mansour Bahrami and Mikael Pernfors versus Peter McNamara and Goran Ivanisevic. Bahrami was hilarious! His trick shots and on-court entertainment made the match, and it was especially amazing how he had no professional training, and taught himself to play with just a mop! all the players were quite the comedians. The crowds were chuckling along, after wooing Tsonga who, after winning, took his shirt off… no one complained.
Finally, the iconic Tim Hennman fought against the equally epochal Mark Philippoussis. The emblematic match was full of adrenaline, I rooted for Philippoussi but ultimately, Henman proved victorious! Both had previously won the Austrlain Open 4R, and watching these players and the aforementioned ones was an exhilarating experience.
Our trip to watch the Tennis Classic was one to be remembered. It was full to the brim with gaiety and was attended by some truly wonderful people. The tennis itself was tense and exciting, and for tennis aficionados and novices alike, watching tennis in the grounds should be on everyone’s bucket lists. Thanks to Stella Artois, the official beer supplier for both the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic at Hurlingham and Wimbledon, for choosing Male Extravaganza to report on the event, to witness tennis pioneers play in the beautifully verdant grounds of Hurlingham.
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