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Stockport tennis star Liam Broady described the two halves of his match against Jay Clarke as ‘night and day’ after rallying to beat his fellow Brit across two days at the Surbiton Trophy, writes Oli Dickson Jefford at Surbiton.
Broady, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme, which is for players ranked 100-200 in singles and 31-100 in doubles, providing cost-free access to courts on all three surfaces, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme, beat Clarke 4-6 6-3 6-2 at the ATP Challenger Tour event.
Having dropped the first set on Tuesday, Broady had to wait until Wednesday to resume play due to rain and believes the disruption allowed him to mentally refocus.
“Today I played really well, managed to find my feet on the grass, it was night and day compared to the other day,” said the 28-year-old.
“It was really frustrating with the first set and with the rain delays over the course of the days it made it really difficult as well, but I think it probably benefited me to have a little time to recover mentally and have a think about how I wanted to play today.
“I think it showed, I came out and played like a completely different player and I gave myself a chance to do well this week now.
“It’s a challenge for both players. If both players can stay focused it makes no difference really. I always look at it as wherever there’s a rain delay there’s an opportunity to catch your opponent sleeping, and even if they’re not sleeping you’re back at 50-50 anyway.
“I must have warmed up for my match ten times in the last two days because of the rain delays, but I’m glad of the result and happy to have come out on top.”
Having picked up his first win of the grass court season, Broady now hopes to continue to build momentum heading into Wimbledon - on what he says is his strongest surface.
He commented: “I actually was starting to really enjoy the clay and I’ve been playing well on hard, but historically the grass has always been my favourite surface.
“For me, if I can serve well - which I did today - I think it makes it difficult, because I know my game suits grass from the baseline and I can volley and return well.
“There are no targets really, I just want to play week in, week out and play as many matches as I can. I love playing matches and tournaments.
“I don’t feel I need weeks off before Wimbledon so just play as much as I can and keep trying to improve and work on my game.”