By Ros Satar
- Sloane Stephens def. Naomi Broady in the ASB Classic quarter-final 7-6(6) 6-3
- Broady could be looking at a new career high as she continues to edge towards the top 100
AUCKLAND, NZ – After all the controversy of racquet-chuck-gate, Naomi Broady put up a great fight but could not pull off another win over fifth seed Sloane Stephens.
If there were any doubts that Broady would be able to lift her game once more against more experienced American, they were swiftly dispelled as the pair stayed toe-to-toe. Broady was put under pressure early, saving two break points before they settled down to far more comfortable folds.
Broady had to dig deep again to save another three break points to force the tie-break, even having a brace of set points before a lapse at the business end of the tie-break gave Stephens a single look at a set point of her own, which was all she needed.
Experience is everything and despite being broken early in the second set, Stephens hit back immediately for a set and a break lead, and it was enough to keep the feisty girl from Stockport at bay. The American had to work for it, as she staved off three break-points before once more hitting home on a single match-point.
Stephens praised the Brit in her on-court interview, saying: “It was a tough one. Naomi’s a great player. She has had such a great week here.”
With Broady’s options including the qualification list for Sydney, and/or Melbourne, the opportunity is ripe for her to capitalise on a great run of matches here. With a hefty serve, and a compact and thus disguisable backhand, Broady has weapons and now has confidence, and a place in the Top 100 beckons from the girl from Stockport.
Stephens will go on to face third seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-final on Friday.
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