Liam Broady on Monday became the youngest British man to win a match atWimbledon since 2008 and said the prize money would stop him having to sleep on friends’ floors during tournaments.
The 21-year-old world No182, who needed a wild card to get into the main draw, claimed his first grand slam win with a brilliant recovery from two sets down against Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.
Broady is guaranteed a cheque for at least £47,000 after his 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win, which amounts to almost three-quarters of his career earnings. He said the money would be used to help him continue his quest to climb the rankings and would enable him to do so in greater comfort.
“That money will go away down a hole somewhere. I’ll keep that one safe. It will just be there, when I need it for the tournaments and for the travel; I know that I’ve got that security, so it’s great. I’ve got some fantastic friends and they’ve been patient with me over the last couple years, sharing beds and stuff. I get my own bed every now and then. But, to be honest, I travel more than anything. That’s what the money’s good for, because I probably spend 35 to 40 weeks on the road. And even then I’m back in Nottingham or at the National Centre [in Roehampton] training, so I spend very little time back at home.”
Broady hit back superbly to level the match against Matosevic, the world No138 who has been as high as 39, but he looked to be in trouble when he dropped his serve for 0-2 in the fifth. He rallied superbly, though, to win six of the next seven games for the biggest victory of his career. It was the first five-set match played by Broady, a finalist in the boys’ singles here in 2011.
“It means everything, to be honest,” he said. “To the guys that have supported me up until now, my trainer Ric [Moylan], my coach Mark [Hilton] and my mentor Adrian [Tannock]. I do it as much for myself as I do for those guys. I know how much time they put into it. But personally, it’s my home tournament. I’ve had good success here before. It’s been a long road to finding myself in the main draw of a slam. Couldn’t be happier.
“I’m not sure how much I believed I could win a round of Wimbledon before today, even going into the match. But I knew that belief didn’t really matter as long as I focused on point by point. I’m hoping that it will sort of push me on and give me a bit more fire to want to get back here.”
Andy Murray immediately tweeted his support for Broady and the left-hander said the world No3 had been a huge inspiration, helping him believe in his ability and work ethic, even when things got tough. “It’s just good to be around Andy,” he said. “He wants the British players to do well. He really puts his time back into the game, back into the British players. I think to have someone like that is invaluable for British tennis. It’s just fantastic. He doesn’t have to do it but he does it anyway.”
Broady is estranged from his father, Simon, who disapproved of his son’s return to the Lawn TennisAssociation fold a few years ago, but his sister Naomi, who later lost her own first-round match, was in the stands to watch, along with most of the family, and their support, he said, had been imperative in his success. “To be honest, my dad’s not even popped into my head with the result,” Broady admitted. “But it was fantastic to have my sister there and the rest of my family watching. That’s what makes it more special, is being able to share such a moment with so many people I love.”
His reward will now be a match with David Goffin, the No16 seed from Belgium, a match he cannot wait to play. “Today was massive for me. To have my first ever first-round men’s win at Wimbledon. I feel good about my game now.”