With Knapp having only returned to the tour in Miami after missing the end of last year with a knee injury, any expectations that she might still be rusty went out of the window as she broke the Brit in the opening game of the match.
Although Broady got the break back, Knapp pegged her back, with Broady battling back to force a first set tie-break. There the momentum shifted as first Broady took advantage of a mini-break late down the line to bring up set point, before Knapp broke her twice, converting on her own first set point.
The second set started better for Broady as she went to the first change of ends with a break, making it stick for an advantage she would relinquish this time. Although she couldn’t convert a chance to break for the set, she made no mistake in serving it out to love, to level the match.
A quick chat with her coach did the trick, as she came out of the blocks breaking the Italian right at the start of the decider. There, though, it all got a bit tight for both players, with no less that six breaks of serve, but it all came down to who got the last one – that went to Broady, who came out and served for the match to love.
The chasing pack up the rankings are also in the early throes of WTA Charleston, so while a ranking push can be expected with her move to the R16 it is probably a little early to predict where, although a tickle around her career high of No. 76 would probably not go amiss!
Defending champion Anna Karolina Schmiedlova takes centre stage on Wednesday when she faces Pauline Parmentier. They meet for the first time in their careers. Although Schmiedlova is higher in the rankings, Parmentier fitted in a run to the final in the 50K, Croissy-Beaubourg while Schmiedlova is looking to snap a tour-level five-match losing streak going back to the second round of Sydney, with her solitary win (and corresponding loss) in Fed Cup.
Schmiedlova and Parmentier will kick things off on Centre Court at 12pm (11am BST).
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