Liam Broady is not one to blame his tools after a loss but the likable Brit admitted that he might have got it wrong with his equipment after going out at Wimbledon.
Stockport star Broady, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme, providing cost-free access to courts, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme, went out in straight sets 6-4 6-3 7-5 to Australia’s Alex de Minaur.
It meant that Broady missed the chance at reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, with the 28-year-old arguably playing his best tennis in the final stages.
That came after he had started playing with a racquet that had been restrung more tightly, and saw him break for the only time as De Minaur served for the match.
Unfortunately for Broady, he then dropped serve immediately and was left to wonder what might have been.
He said: “I felt like the classic Jimmy Connors: I didn’t lose the match; I ran out of time type thing. That’s kind of what I felt like a little bit.
“I was bugging (umpire) Fergus (Murphy) in the chair because I sent a racquet off to get it done a couple of pounds tighter.
“The first couple sets I felt like the ball was flying off my strings a bit. The racquet only came back once I was a break down in the third. I brought it out and I just felt a lot more comfortable playing. I felt like the ball was doing what I was trying to tell it to do.
“The change was probably a little bit too late. I know that some of the guys like (Bjorn) Borg back in the day used to have like 20 racquets in his bag. I only had three in my bag today. It’s tough to get them changed, especially if one of them goes, then one’s at the stringer, you start to worry a little bit.
“I’m going to maybe try and get a couple more racquets in the bag for the next few tournaments.”
It has been an impressive run for Broady, including his dramatic five-set victory over tenth seed Diego Schwartzman in the second round.
And where previously he has felt overawed on the show courts at SW19, this time he felt right at home on No.1 court.
He added: “In the past I’ve been on Court 1 and Centre, and it’s probably been more of a negative experience because I’ve not felt like I’ve been able to express myself.
“I mean, I remember I played Raonic on Court 1. I think it was 5-1-1 (7-5 6-1 6-1). I felt like I wanted the ground to swallow me up. I felt just awful. Whereas today I felt like I was playing well enough to be able to try and get the crowd involved.
“I think my tennis is there. I don’t think you beat someone like Hubert Hurkacz at the Olympics last summer without being able to play tennis. I think he had just made semis of Wimbledon a couple weeks before. I’ve had a couple of sporadic good wins throughout my career.
“The last year, year and a half, I’ve had some really good wins. Like I said, I think the tennis is there, it’s just doing it more consistently and believing in myself more.”
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