Liam Broady in the second round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Liam Broady in the second round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Four Talking Points: Liam Broady ‘feeling good’ after landmark win, Ruud defends grass court approach

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Liam Broady revealed his emotions after achieving the biggest win of his career to reach the third round of Wimbledon
  • Casper Ruud defended his approach towards grass court tennis after his exit to Broady
  • Victoria Azarenka speaks about having fun on tennis court while Anett Kontaveit ends her singles career
LONDON, ENGLAND – Liam Broady has admitted he is ‘feeling good’ after achieving his best win of his career over Casper Ruud at Wimbledon.


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Broady ‘feeling good’ after landmark win at Wimbledon

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Our day four talking points start with Liam Broady as the British wildcard achieved the biggest win of his career on Centre Court. The Brit defeated Casper Ruud in five sets to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the second consecutive year.

As explained by Broady in his press conference, the win over Ruud was a culmination of hard work and overcoming past nerves and emotions in previous matches against top players.

“It feels good. Because obviously as a junior, I was a very good junior, I got to No. 2 in the world. I played on Court 1 in the finals of the juniors. I was a set and a break up. I completely choked it, completely guffed it. That has kind of haunted me my entire career, to be honest,” Broady admitted.

“I think that is kind of one of the reasons why it took me so long to win a challenger, as well. I lost seven challenger finals in a row. It always bothered me coming back and playing on the bigger courts, and never really feeling like I was comfortable and had performed. Losing to Andy on Centre, losing to Raonic on 1, and then De Minaur on 1, and never winning so much as a set. That’s why it felt good today.

“I feel like it’s taken a monumental effort for me personally to be able to win a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. I mean, Novak hasn’t lost a match on Centre in 10 years, which is a testament to how good of a player he is, as well. That was a big one for me. I think, again, in the past I’d have been nervous coming into today whereas I kind of wanted it to be more, as you say, see it as a reward.

“This is why I play tennis. I’m 29 years old. Going into this tournament I’m 150 in the world. I’ve only have so many Wimbledons left in my career. This has to be seen as a reward. You have to take the bull by the horns with these opportunities. I played on Centre Court now twice in my entire career. I’m 29 years old. The opportunity might not come by again for one reason or another. I felt more excited than anything going out there today. Because as hard as it is, you still have to kind of relish the opportunity.

“It is the pinnacle of the sport. It’s the pinnacle of almost any sport, Centre Court of Wimbledon. Obviously to have then got the result as well is the icing on the cake.”

An incredible moment in Broady’s career and one he will never forget as he will look to climb the rankings so he can play on the biggest stages more often. The 29 year-old also spoke about the prize money that he will receive for reaching the third round and explained why it means so much to support his family.

“I mean, it’s third round Wimby, I think it’s £131,000. It’s not bad for a day’s work. I think I had that last year as well. What that enables me to do, I have a three-person team now,” Broady stated.

“I have my S&C coach Kieron, my tennis coach Dave, and my brother travels and sort of manages my schedule and stuff. It’s not cheap. I wasn’t clearing a lot of money after tax last year, believe it or not. The expenses in tennis are the highest among any sport that I know of, an individual sport anyway.

“To be honest, that enables me to reinvest in myself and put a little bit away. It’s difficult because you see so many players that end up having had better careers than myself but end up with nothing from the sport. I’m very wary. I don’t want to end up being like that myself. No, I don’t have a car. I don’t take holidays. I don’t have a house. For me, I want to be able to support my family in any way I can.

“If the opportunity is there and it’s needed, I want to not have to worry for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be working till I’m 70 years old, especially when I’ve sacrificed the first 25 out of 29 years of my life for the sport of tennis. I’ve not had a life. I want to be able to see something for that sacrifice, to be honest.”

Broady’s attitude towards life and tennis is reflected in how patient he has been to make his big breakthrough. Now the Brit will look to make the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in his career when he faces Denis Shapovalov on Friday.


Ruud defends grass court approach

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As for Ruud, it’s another early exit at Wimbledon with the fourth seed playing no build-up tournaments leading up to Wimbledon and instead opting for Golf and attending concerts. Speaking to the press Ruud defended his grass court schedule and said he plans on making no changes to his approach in the future.

“I think for now I’m happy with how we scheduled my year. It’s just to me, I prioritise the weeks on clay,” Ruud said.

“This year I did really well in the end of the clay season, but I didn’t really do so well in the beginning maybe. I’m still on the road traveling. It’s a physical and mental kind of challenge every day that you’re away from home. I had been 10, 11 weeks in a row kind of traveling around, playing tournaments. At some point you need some time at home. If I choose to play, let’s say, two events before Wimbledon, it’s going to be directly from Roland Garros to somewhere else, stay in another hotel room, being away from home.

“Then, because I play both Bastad and Hamburg and these tournaments after Wimbledon, there would never be a break. For me to split the season midway after Roland Garros, take a little break, is the most sensible in my kind of career and how I play, what tournaments I prefer to play. I think I’ll continue to do it.”

The Norwegian also spoke about what he finds difficult about playing on grass and also said he plans on seeing The Weeknd in London.

“Sometimes I’m not hitting the shots like I want to. It’s just because I’m really scared and I have to take all these extra steps. Yeah, I think that’s the biggest challenge that I will always kind of feel on the surface. Just being really careful with your movements,” Ruud explained.

“That makes me not being able to kind of play with a force that I like to in a way, if that makes sense. It’s not an excuse, it’s just how I feel. You see other players doing it, as well. I just have to try to improve. Let’s see, maybe next year I will have some more days on the grass before and during Wimbledon than this year.

“It’s going to be close to 11 months now for me not playing on grass. The season is so long, there’s so many tournaments, for me now I kind of forget about grass. I will watch the final obviously. I think it’s always fun to watch the final here. But my mind is already kind of focused on what’s to come. Yeah, but I look forward to come back here next year.

“It’s tomorrow. Maybe. I think I have doubles tomorrow, so actually I have a good excuse to stay. I think I might try to catch the show, yes.”



Azarenka reveals important advice after victory

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Now onto Victoria Azarenka, who completed victory over Nadia Podoroska to set up a third round meeting with Daria KasatkinaAfter her win Azarenka admitted grass isn’t her favourite surface but stated that tennis is all about adapting.

“Well, I don’t think that grass is my favourite surface, but also, I feel like there is not enough time for you to kind of adapt and really fall in love personally for me with grass,” Azarenka admitted.

“I think that the challenge that I find throughout every year that everywhere we go, grass is very different. You have to play different. You can’t really play the same way. You come here, the grass is completely different than any tournaments prior. It almost feels like I’m not sure if the warm-up tournaments really help me to get into the rhythm, to be honest. But you still keep going and keep trying to see if you are going to get the grass rhythm.

“I really do feel like it’s about adapting. Tennis overall is about adapting, but grass is really about from a day to day, it’s a living surface that you really have to find some shots, as well, that you maybe don’t use on a regular basis. But yeah, it’s a definitely a unique surface and it makes tennis very interesting throughout the year to have those differences.”

It seems like adapting has worked for Azarenka as she looks to make another deep run at Wimbledon. The former Grand Slam champion also spoke about her willingness to learn as well as the important advice she would give to young girls.

“Keep learning. Never stop learning. Sometimes I feel like it’s very easy to lose the sight of why you started to play tennis. I would ask myself this question more if when I was younger: Why did I start to play tennis? Because you get so caught up in the results and expectations and everything,” Azarenka explained.

“What kind of puts me also on the right track is remembering why I started to play tennis. So to young girls, I would remind them to ask that question. It’s not because somebody told you or somebody keeps telling you what do you need to do. Why did I start to play tennis? Did I love it? Did I have fun? That’s a good thing to kind of bring yourself back into, not to focus, but to ground yourself.”


Wawrinka previews Djokovic clash as Kontaveit retires

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A big clash is set for Friday as Stan Wawrinka will take on Novak Djokovic for a place in the second week of Wimbledon. Wawrinka defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry in four sets to book his place in the third round where he will face the defending champion.

After the match Wawrinka admitted he is looking forward to the clash but admits it’s going to be a tough ask to win.

“I think it’s great to play him at least one time here on grass. It’s going to be the first time Wimbledon,” Wawrinka said.

“Of course I’m excited, and I’m happy to have the chance to play against him after we played in every other Grand Slam, a lot of other tournaments. So it’s going to be first time on grass, and it’s great.

“There’s zero opportunity to win Wimbledon for me, I think. I’m happy to have won today again. I think it was great match. I’m playing better each match, and as I say, I think it’s an honor to play Novak here. I was missing that on my career to play him in the Grand Slam in Wimbledon.

“That’s the last I never played him, and it’s going to be a difficult challenge. Hopefully I can make a competitive match, but if you will look at recent results, I don’t really stand a chance.”

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As Wawrinka looks forward to the third round, Anett Kontaveit will not play another singles match again after her defeat to Marie BouzkovaAfter her defeat Kontaveit admitted it was an emotional moment and has said her retirement is a ‘firm decision.’

“Yeah, it was incredible to have Court 18 full of people, so many people cheering for me,” Kontaveit said.

“Of course, the match didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I was so happy to be able to play in front of so many people, that so many people that love me were able to see me play for the last time – in singles.

“No, I mean, it’s because of my back injury. I’m pretty firm with this decision. I do hope that if I don’t give it that much load with the exercises — not exercises, but with tennis and the movement that is involved with tennis, it will feel better in everyday life. I hope so. I don’t actually know.”

Kontaveit will finish her career in mixed doubles with Emil Ruusuvuori.



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