Britain's Liam Broady returns against Canada's Milos Raonic during their men's singles first round match on the first day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 2, 2018. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Tennis | Tokyo 2020 | Broady edges past Cerundolo in three hour battle, faces Hurkacz next
Liam Broady was victorious on his Olympics debut after overcoming Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo in three gruelling sets. Both players had chances to get the early break with the Brit squandering four break point opportunities in the second game. Overall both players remained dominant on serve but it was Broady who prevented a tiebreak by breaking to love in the 12th game to take the opening set.
A similar pattern followed in the second set with Broady this time having to dig deep on his service games. Some aggressive tennis in the 10th game from Broady saw him have two match points for a straight sets win but Cerundolo denied him to hold serve for 5-5. Eventually the second set would go to a tiebreak which the world number 116 dominated to level the match at one set all.
In the final set, Broady’s overall dominance on return in the match paid off as he broke twice for a 4-1 lead creating four break points. Despite facing pressure in the sixth game, Broady hung on for a historic victory as he secured a place in the second round of his first Olympic Games.
Liam Broady [WC] v Hubert Hurkacz  H2H & Match Fundamentals
The world number 12 has had an up-and-down season with the ups being very high after the Pole won the Miami Open defeating the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to the title. Then after a six match losing streak, the Pole reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon beating Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer. Hurkacz’s big serve and defensive skills mixed with aggressive net skills makes him a dangerous player even against the best players in the world.
The slow court conditions in Tokyo will mean that Broady will have chances to engage in rallies and dictate the tempo of his shots. However Hurkacz’s serve and movement will make it difficult for the Brit to blast past the defences of the Pole. Even though Broady can be confident in testing the seventh seed this match could be a step too far.
Prediction: Hurkacz in three sets.
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