Broady conquers demons to upset Ruud

British wild card beats fourth seed 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in Wimbledon second round

AFP July 07, 2023

Britain's Liam Broady said he had realised his dream after shocking Wimbledon fourth seed Casper Ruud, admitting he had been haunted by a painful defeat in the boy's final 12 years ago.

The wild card held his nerve when trailing two sets to one against the French Open finalist, rallying to win the second-round clash on Centre Court 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Norway's Ruud, who has been runner-up at Roland Garros in the past two years, was also the beaten finalist at the US Open last year.

But the 24-year-old has never gone beyond the second round at the All England Club.

Broady, 142 in the world rankings, took a medical time out at the end of the fourth set to change some bandaging on his wrist.

But the 29-year-old came out fit and firing in the evening sunshine, demolishing Ruud 6-0 in the decider before soaking up the applause from the partisan crowd.

"It feels good," said Broady. "Because obviously as a junior, I was a very good junior. I got to number two in the world.

"I played on Court One in the finals of the juniors (in 2011). I was a set and a break up. I completely choked it, completely guffed it.

"That has kind of haunted me my entire career, to be honest. I think that is kind of one of the reasons why it took me so long to win a (second-tier) Challenger, as well. I lost seven Challenger finals in a row."

He said he had never previously felt comfortable on the bigger courts at the All England Club.

"I feel like it's taken a monumental effort for me personally to be able to win a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon," he said.

"Going into this tournament I'm 150 in the world. I only have so many Wimbledons left in my career. This has to be seen as a reward. You have to take the bull by the horns with these opportunities."

The British player will play Canadian 26th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round.

"Denis is a mercurial talent, he's one of the best players in the world as is Casper," he said. "He's won junior Wimbledon. He's an amazing player. With a crowd like this then why not have a go again."

Ruud said he rated Broady as the better grass-court player, despite the difference in rankings.

"It's nice, I think it's really nice, to see at Slams when people either from quallies (qualification tournament) or wild cards get the opportunity to play on the big stage and they do well," he said.


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