Liam Broady is more than happy to go through the pain barrier to continue his thrilling run at Wimbledon.
Broady shocked tenth seed Diego Schwartzman to reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time – 12 months after losing to the Argentine at SW19.
Stockport star Broady, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme, providing cost-free access to courts on all three surfaces, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme, rallied from two sets to one down to prevail 6-2 4-6 0-6 7-6 (6) 6-1 out on Court 3.
Broady had also been up a set against Schwartzman last year before fading and losing in four sets – and credited improved physicality as the main reason why he outlasted his opponent today.
He said: “In previous years I felt it physically a lot worse. The first year I played when I beat Marinko [Matosevic] in five, I had a day off the next day, then I played [David] Goffin the day after. I was absolutely knackered. We had a really high-level first set and I was just gone.
“I do think a large part of it is having been there before, having done it before. I played a fair few five-setters now. You kind of get used to it I guess.
“For me a large part of it is being tired and just being able to stay focused. That mental endurance, which is kind of what I was saying after the first round as well, and it happened today.
I think that’s the great thing about a five-set match, there are such huge swings of momentum and so much can happen. It’s not just done after one swing.
“There can be two, three, four swings. It just becomes a lot longer of a struggle.”
At one point the 28-year-old lost 11 games in a row as Schwartzman looked to run away with the contest.
However, Broady revealed afterwards that he tactically switched up his outlook on the match which helped him turn things around.
“I was probably trying to play too heavily into his backhand,” added Broady.
“His backhand above his shoulder is brilliant. He beat Rafa on clay – you can’t do that without having a good shoulder-high backhand. I’m not hitting that forehand as heavy as Rafa does either.
“I actually think his forehand is probably better from his backhand corner, and from that mid-court. I started trying to play it a hell of a lot more into his forehand corner.
“It’s the case with a lot of guys that prefer that mid-court forehand, actually if you go straight into the forehand, they struggle a little bit more with it.
“Obviously on the grass as well with my backhand being as flat as it is, it helps a lot. I felt like that started to allow me to get my foot into the door again, start to work my way back into it.
“With Diego, he served pretty well at times today, but he isn’t the biggest server out there. Same as me really. That’s why there were so many long rallies. We’ve always just got to go toe-to-toe from the back.”
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