Naomi Broady out in three-set stunner in Linz first round

By Jake Davies, in Linz

  • Viktoriya Tomova [Q] defeats Naomi Broady [LL] 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
  • Broady’s tournament ends at the first stage of the main draw in Linz
LINZ, AUSTRIA – Britain’s No.3 player Naomi Broady falls in defeat in the first round of Linz after getting in as a lucky loser just a day before.

Viktoriya Tomova [Q] defeats Naomi Broady [LL] 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4

Naomi Broady’s Linz rollercoaster ride came to an end as she lost in three-sets in a very close battle against Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova. The match had a bit of everything, but Broady made the faster, more efficient start to the match as she showed just what she can do when she sends down that first serve weapon, which has won her so many matches over the years.

The main factor in this match was whether Broady could produce many first serves in order to alleviate the pressure that her second serve would get put under by her opponent and that proved to be the case.

Broady’s backhand was on fire. The unorthodox, unusually-effective groundstroke was firing up the line and she also delivered acute angles crosscourt that contributed to her winning the first set 6-3. In that set she dropped just the two points on her first serve as she demonstrated just how good she can be when her strengths rise above the surface.

The second set was a completely different story. Broady found herself in a mini-crisis at *1-2 down in the second set, but she came up with two aces in a row to eventually hold. The serve became slightly problematic for the Brit as she started making double faults in big moments and it cost her the set. Her Bulgarian opponent held two set points at 5-4 in the second set, but would then go on to convert on her sixth set point with a gorgeous lob in the tiebreak.

Errors started creeping into Broady’s game as she realised how close she was to a big win and how near she was to that finish line. Now she was a whole set from the victory, which mentally played a huge role in the outcome. The World No.130 Broady quickly went down a double break. She fought back to retrieve one of the breaks back, but left herself a mountain to climb as she bowed out of the Linz tournament after a valiant effort from the Brit.

The week is a positive one for Broady. She may have come up short against Tomova, but she played some good ball for large portions of her stay in Linz and was ever so close to getting into the second round of a WTA main draw. The overriding feeling will probably be of disappointment, but the Brit had beaten some tough opponents this week and can now prepare for the conclusion of her 2017 season.

 

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