It might have been a tough day at the office for the British No. 2 Naomi Broady but there was still cause for cheer on Wednesday at the Aegon Classic. In the morning the initial Wimbledon wildcards were announced with Broady atop the Brit list, before she was guided out of the tournament by the precision hitting of No. 7 seed Petra Kvitova, and before she and doubles partner Heather Watson (also a Wimbledon wildcard) were edged in the doubles by Raquel Atawo and Christina McHale.
As surely as the casual tennis-watching public start polishing the cutlery for their habitual strawberries and cream this time of year, the more knowledgeable tennis watching folk speculate and cogitate about the wildcards, mainly because it saves talking about the weather! While a number of Brits will receive wildcards for the most prestigious Slam of the four, there is absolutely no guarantees.
She told us: “Although I was hoping to get one, you really can never be sure. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you can’t take it for granted that you are going to get one. I’m just so grateful that I have got one.
“A few years ago the wildcard funded me to employ my coach and that took me into the Top 100, so they really do make such a big difference. I think people don’t realise that we play from our prize money and for someone like me who doesn’t get funding, a wildcard enabled me to hire a coach and I hope to do the same again with my prize money from this year.
“I’m not too far off being back inside the Top 100 now anyway but hopefully the money from Wimbledon will enable me to hire a coach now and I’ll be able to get back inside.”
Balance between ITF & WTA events
To the casual onlooker surely it is obvious? If Broady wants to get her points up for direct entry into the US Open, with the dates for the final ranking six weeks before the tournament, then she needs to pack in as may WTA tour level events as possible? Not necessarily so, as she explained:
“It is one of the tougher parts of the tour is managing your schedule and there aren’t that many higher level ITF tournaments. There’s a lot of $10k, $15k at the lower end of the ITF schedule, but as you say to get a lot of points to keep your ranking going up into the top 100 you need to mix in a lot of the WTAs.
“So I think going forward for now unless my ranking jumps up a lot I’ll look to play as many WTA [events] as I can but on the weeks where there the few $100k or $80k ITF events I’ll try and drop down and play those, if I’m not getting enough matches.”
So what is the plan for the British No. 2 with scant weeks now to make a difference to her rankings
“I’ll aim to get 2-3 singles matches in a week. You’ve won through two rounds at least and I think sets you in good stead for a lot of confidence without getting too tired. If I’m playing a lot of doubles as well obviously that can also affect your schedule.
There’s a $100k just after Wimbledon I’ll possibly play if I need a couple of extra points to get into the US Open. I’m just on the border line now.”
Broady may still yet have another crack at WTA Premier points – she is waiting to hear if she will get a wildcard into Eastbourne, which is the final preparation week before Wimbledon starts on 3 July.
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