By Jake Davies

  • Naomi Broady defeats Carol Zhao 6-3, 6-7, 6-2
  • Naomi Broady vs Timea Babos
MONTERREY, MEXICO – Naomi Broady came through a difficult but rewarding match in her Monterrey opening match to get into the second round for the second time in as many years, and will face Timea Babos next.

 

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Naomi Broady defeats Carol Zhao 6-3 6-7 6-2

Naomi Broady has put herself in a favourable position to have a very decent week and run of form in Monterrey with a resounding three-sets win over Canada’s Carol Zhao. In the match we saw the very best of the British No.3, but we also saw her find a way to get a victory when the momentum of the match was moving away from her.

The Brit started in absolutely blistering form. She took advantage of the short ball, put herself in position to be the aggressor in the majority of the rallies. Broady acknowledges that at 1.89m in height she is not necessarily the quickest mover on the court and not the greatest performer in terms of the defensive side of the game, so she tries to play to her strengths to ensure those weaknesses are not on show. She did that well in the firstset. By hitting 11 winners to just the single unforced error, she had well and truly arrived and the one-handed backhand was in great form for large periods of the match.

The second set was a much more difficult proposition for Broady. Zhao did a lot of the retrieving, the scrambling and the hustling from the back of the court, but upped her aggression substantially in the 2nd set, coming to the forecourt much more often and that startled Broady momentarily. Broady made the necessary adjustments to come back from 2-5 down to rally back at 5-5, but would then go on to lose the set in the tiebreak.

Her coach Matt Evans came on at the end of the 2nd set and he asked for some very simple but important adjustments to her game. He wanted greater weight transfer moving up to the ball, the intensity of the footwork to improve, which is always important to Broady and he wanted to see better intent in her court positioning. She eventually broke twice to seal the deal and win her first main draw match of the 2018 season.

 

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Naomi Broady vs Timea Babos |  H2H: Babos leads 4-1

Waiting in the wings for Broady in the second round is Hungary’s Timea Babos, who looked very good in her opening round match against Marie Bouzkova. Monterrey is a tournament that Babos has played very well in in the past and perhaps has enjoyed most of her success at the event, where she won the whole thing back in 2012.

The big question for Broady will be whether she can be the first person to get the first crucial blow in the rallies and try her best not to get in an ineffective, disadvantageous position against an aggressive Babos, who likes to dictate with her forehand side and take a lot of risks in her shotmaking.

I think Hungary’s No.1 player will get the win. She can be particularly streaky and lose to anyone on her day, but I think she will continue to get better at this specific tournament after seeing how well she played in her first round opener.

Prediction: Babos in two sets.

 

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