By Jake Davies
- Varvara Lepchenko [LL] defeats Naomi Broady [Q] 6-4 3-6 6-3
- Positive week for Broady as she claimed three vital match wins.
- Konta is the last British woman left in the Montreal main draw.
MONTREAL, CANADA – It was all change for Naomi Broady as Varvara Lepchenko replaced Garbiñe Muguruza at the last moment ahead of their scheduled match.
Varvara Lepchenko [LL] beats Naomi Broady [Q] 6-4 3-6 6-3
It was a chaotic series of events in the build up to Broady’s second round match at the Rogers Cup. Moments before the British player was scheduled to play No.3 seed Muguruza, the Spaniard withdrew from the tournament because of a gastrointestinal illness.
That very news effected the preparation for Broady, as she would now have to face lucky loser Lepchenko instead of the Roland Garros Champion.
Broady started off the match in great form. She served impeccably for the first three service games and was holding with considerable ease. Lepchenko was watertight in the first set and took the very few opportunities that was presented on the Broady serve in order to break for *5-4.
The American won a great number of the lengthy rallies against Broady as many would expect. Broady had had an extremely strenuous week already, having come through qualifying and a tough match against Monica Puig in the previous round. Lepchenko came through the first set 6-4.
Broady capitalised on the error count of Lepchenko rising in the second set and she broke to take a *3-1 lead. In the fourth game of the second set, Broady lost her concentration and her service game courtesy of a double fault on break point.
As the match progressed it became apparent that Broady was struggling from a physical standpoint. At 3-2* in the second set, Broady called her coach Andrew Fitzpatrick to the court – her conversation with her coach, who has worked with Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens in the past, was not positive at all.
Coach Fitzpatrick acknowledged that Broady’s movement was failing her at this stage in the match and Broady responded negatively, explaining that she was feeling extremely tired. The Brit also reflected on the fact she was losing a lot of the baseline exchanges with Lepchenko, which is one area of Broady’s game where she is left wanting, whereas Lepchenko excels in that department.
Broady found a glimmer of hope, she persevered and reaped the benefits – Lepchenko’s lost control of what she was doing so well and gave up another service game. The ninth game was a walk in the park for Broady as she rifled a one-handed backhand to draw another error from Lepchenko – 6-3 Broady.
Lepchenko never looked back after breaking early in the deciding set. She exploited the slow movement of an exhausted Broady and even dragged her opponent into the forecourt on her own terms. The American finished the match the much fresher player and the much better, as she won 6-4 3-6 6-3 over a determined and courageous Naomi Broady.
Broady won back-to-back matches for the first time since Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, so on reflection it’s a good week, although she will feel disappointed that she could not take advantage of the opportunity of playing Lepchenko in a Round 2 of a Premier 5 event.
Johanna Konta is the only British player remaining in the Rogers Cup main draw. Konta won her first match of the tournament in a straight sets victory over Roland Garros Quarter Finalist Shelby Rogers.
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