By Ros Satar

  • Naomi Broady battles past Qualifying top seed to each a shot in the main draw
  • Former finalist Ana Ivanovic is second seed
  • First time meeting

AUCKLAND, NZ – British No. 3 Naomi Broady got her reward for coming through a tense battle in the final round of qualification, to earn a match-up against No. 2 seed Ana Ivanovic.

It was a nail biting affair for fans following the final round live, as Broady was broken just once in the first set, dominated the second only to trade breaks with qualifying top seed Magdalena Rybarikova, giving the Slovakian an immediate advantage.

Broady clawed her way back to level terms, despite being put through the wringer at times on her own service games, but pushed the pair to a deciding tie-break.

The momentum shifted back and fourth between the pair, but it was Broady who took a decisive mini-break to bring up her first match point, only to lose her own serve straight away.

It took some resolve to break the World No. 80 for the win, and a solid win it was, as the qualifier now faces Ivanovic, who will be relying on a little bit of insider knowledge for the upper hand.

The Serbian has returned to the coaching fold of Nigel Sears, to maybe conclude a little unfinished business, whereas Broady has definitely moved on from her teenage days when the LTA cracked down hard on juniors for publicising their antics on social media. Since then Broady has collected eight singles and 13 doubles title on the ITF circuit, and last year achieved a career best of 116 in October.

Whereas Ivanovic boasts the experience, solid groundstrokes and power, Broady will be largely an unknown quantity for her, and since her breakthrough US hard court season at the end of last year, Broady’s confidence certainly was on the up with a hefty serve and aggressive return games, making it less easy to break her. The aggressiveness in particular allowed her to build that confidence of breaking others.

Ivanovic of course will be the favourite going in, but sometimes that can play in her opponents favour as the frustration of maybe not getting her own way, especially if Broady can swing free, and you get the feeling that if this is going to be an upset, it will be a tough battle to get there.

Even if it doesn’t go her way, she could well give Ivanovic a stern test to open the season.

Broady and Ivanovic are scheduled on Centre Court not before 6:30pm (5:30am GMT).

 

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