“It’s the pinnacle” – Liam Broady celebrates “monumental” Wimbledon masterpiece

A lifelong dream came true for Liam Broady on Centre Court today, as the Brit shook of the demons of the past to create a win for the ages.

Liam Broady - (c) AI / Reuters / Panoramic Liam Broady – (c) AI / Reuters / Panoramic

For those who breathe the rarefied air of Grand Slam champions, the greatest showcourts in the world are part and parcel to the journey. Wimbledon’s hallowed Centre Court lawn, a place to feel comfortable at as the tools of the trade are employed.

For others, like Great Britain’s Liam Broady, Centre Court is the stuff of a nearly impossible dream. Yes, he’s a tennis pro, yes, he’s stepped foot on the sports’ most famous showcourt before, but until today, he never felt that feeling that Novak Djokovic has has felt 41 consecutive times on Centre Court – victory!

Today it all changed as Broady took down world No 4 and three-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud in five sets (6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-0) for an emotional victory and a lifetime moment.

He was in tears when he addressed the crowd after his victory, and afterwards, in his press conference, he explained why it was such a special moment.

“I was a very good junior, I got to No. 2 in the world,” he said. “I played on Court 1 in the finals of the juniors. I was a set and a break up. I completely choked it, completely guffed it. That has kind of haunted me my entire career, to be honest.

“I think that is kind of one of the reasons why it took me so long to win a challenger, as well. I lost seven challenger finals in a row.”

Self doubt held Broady back for years, but these days he is more comfortable in his own skin and better at imposing his game on other to pros. Today he had his coming of age moment – the world No 142, aged 29, soaking in the glory of his first top 10 win and Centre Court victory all at once.

That demon has now officially been slayed.

“It always bothered me coming back and playing on the bigger courts, and never really feeling like I was comfortable and had performed,” he said. “Losing to Andy on Centre, losing to Raonic on 1, and then de Minaur on 1, and never winning so much as a set.

“That’s why it felt good today. I feel like it’s taken a monumental effort for me personally to be able to win a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. I mean, Novak hasn’t lost a match on Centre in 10 years, which is a testament to how good of a player he is, as well. That was a big one for me.”

Broady – this is why I play tennis

On Friday the Brit will head to No. 2 Court to take a crack at Denis Shapovalov. He wants to make the most of that opportunity as well, because one never knows when the Wimbledon window will close.

“This is why I play tennis,” he said. “I’m 29 years old. Going into this tournament I’m 150 in the world. I’ve only have so many Wimbledons left in my career. This has to be seen as a reward. You have to take the bull by the horns with these opportunities.

“I played on Centre Court now twice in my entire career. I’m 29 years old. The opportunity might not come by again for one reason or another.

“I felt more excited than anything going out there today. Because as hard as it is, you still have to kind of relish the opportunity. It is the pinnacle of the sport. It’s the pinnacle of almost any sport, Centre Court of Wimbledon. Obviously to have then got the result as well is the icing on the cake.

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