Brisk Broady sets up showdown with 'big dog' of junior tennis
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 29 June 2011
It is stretching things somewhat to say that Liam Broady has followed Fred Perry from being born in Stockport to winning a Wimbledon title – Broady's triumph came in the boys' doubles last year – but all the same the 17-year-old is laying down some promising markers in the junior ranks.
Broady required less than an hour yesterday morning – getting off court before the rain arrived – to earn a place in the third round of the boys' singles and a meeting with the opponent he styles the "big dog" of the junior game, the top seed Jiri Vesely. The Czech, the world's No 1 junior, had a routine 6-4, 6-4 victory over Alexios Halebian.
Broady beat the 17-year-old French right-hander Mathias Bourgue 6-1, 6-4 in front of a sprinkling of interested spectators out on Court 19. Broady seized control of the contest from the start, breaking in Bourgue's first service game, and had the first set wrapped up in a businesslike 21 minutes. The second set was closer, but the British No 3 junior remained in control in another encouraging performance. "I played well and will need to play as well if not better to [beat Vesely]," he said.
Like Andy Murray, a somewhat more immediate role model in the British game, Broady is making his way outside the control of the Lawn Tennis Association. Neither he nor his sister Naomi, who lost last week in the first round of the women's singles to fellow Briton Anne Keothavong, receive any backing from the LTA.
Their father, Simon, has directed both careers since Naomi had her funding withdrawn in 2007 over postings on a social networking site about nights out. Simon Broady believes Naomi was made a scapegoat in the incident and has resisted attempts by the LTA to bring the pair back into the fold. The family sold their house to raise funds towards Liam and Naomi's careers. "I just get on with the tennis and just leave all the politics behind and focus on the court," said Broady Jnr this week.
Broady, ranked the No 15 boy in the world, was too mobile and aggressive for Bourgue. An agile left-hander, he served well and used a punchy double-fisted backhand to telling effect. It is turning into another profitable trip to SW19 for Broady, who last year partnered Tom Farquharson to success in the boys' doubles. Earlier this week he practised with Novak Djokovic.
In the qualifying for the men's singles Broady beat Alessio di Mauro, an Italian nearly twice his age, 12-10 in the deciding set before falling in the next round. Last week he won the junior warm-up event at Roehampton, impressing Judy Murray in the process.
The top-ranked British junior, Oliver Golding, the fourth seed here, suffered a surprise straight-sets defeat by Australia's Jason Kubler either side of the thunderstorm. Joshua Ward-Hibbert and Evan Hoyt also had their campaigns ended in straight sets, by Austria's Dominic Thiem and Mate Pavic of Croatia respectively, while Kyle Edmund was another British loser, taking the first set before going out to Belgium's Julien Cagnina.
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