Fam­ily for­tune shines on Broady even through rift


THEY are the new kids on the (train­ing) block. There is a fam­ily at­mos­phere in Bri­tish men’s ten­nis right now, the likes of Liam Broady, Kyle Ed­mund and James Ward ben­e­fit­ing from a benev­o­lent big brother in the form of Andy Mur­ray as they chart their way through the sport.

Just as Roland Gar­ros saw Ed­mund rack up his first Grand Slam win, yesterday it was Broady’s time to em­brace the lime­light. The 21-year-old from Stock­port roared back from two sets down against Marinko Mato­se­vic of Aus­tralia to record his first win in the main draw of a ma­jor event by a 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 score­line, and his ex­u­ber­ance was only slightly tem­pered by the heartache in his real fam­ily which lies be­neath it all.

The story goes some­thing like this: Broady, a bearded Manch­ester City fan who was once ranked the No.2 ju­nior player in the world, is es­tranged from his fa­ther Si­mon. The pair have not spo­ken for three years, ever since Liam took the de­ci­sion to re­turn to the LTA fold, his dad hav­ing pre­vi­ously sold the fam­ily house to bankroll his chil­dren’s ten­nis de­vel­op­ment in dis­gust at the gov­ern­ing body’s de­ci­sion to with­draw his sis­ter Naomi’s fund­ing for a lack of dis­ci­pline. Their ev­i­dence was some in­dis­creet in­ter­net post­ings on the so­cial net­work­ing site Bebo, one of which saw the teenager on a night out, her leg draped over a con­dom ma­chine. How­ever, the Broady bunch made it to SW19 yesterday, this brother and sis­ter act be­came the first set of Bri­tish sib­lings to ap­pear in the main draw at Wim­ble­don since Buster and Linda Mottram back in 1978.

So while his sis­ter watched, iron­i­cally leav­ing when he was two sets down, dad did not. “To be hon­est, my dad’s not even popped into my head with the re­sult,” said Liam. “But it was fan­tas­tic to have my sis­ter there and the rest of my fam­ily watch­ing. That’s what makes it more spe­cial.”

Asked if he thought the win might help the fam­ily come to­gether, he said: “I doubt it. But we’ll see. I don’t know whether he watched it or not be­cause ob­vi­ously we’re not in touch.”

Thank­fully, in his fa­ther’s ab­sence, oth­ers have stepped up to the plate. Broady, who now faces David Gof­fin of Bel­gium, paid trib­ute to his trainer Ric [Moy­lan], coach Mark [Hil­ton], and men­tor Adrian [Tan­nock]. His Glaswe­gian Great Bri­tain Davis Cup cap­tain Leon Smith re­ceived a post- match hug, and Mur­ray got a men­tion, even if the world No.3 had been com­plicit in forc­ing him into a rather apolo­getic public speech at March’s Davis Cup tie with the USA at the Emi­rates Arena in Glas­gow. The Scot has not ac­tu­ally in­vited Broady out to prac­tise with him in Mi­ami, but he did of­fer some in­stant con­grat­u­la­tions via Twit­ter af­ter­wards.

“I’ve never been out to Mi­ami,” said Broady. “But that’s prob­a­bly be­cause of the time I prac­tised with him be­fore Davis Cup, and I was ac­tu­ally pretty ter­ri­ble. Ob­vi­ously you’ve got to be a pretty good player to play with Andy and I was quite ner­vous around him. But at the Davis Cup I had a chance to prac­tise with him a bit again and I was a bit bet­ter. It’s just good to be around Andy. He wants the Bri­tish play­ers to do well. To have some­one like that is in­valu­able.”

Like Mur­ray, there were a few choice words, enough to earn a code vi­o­la­tion for au­di­ble ob­scen­ity and a $2,500 fine. “I wouldn’t have sworn if I knew how much it was.”

While Broady de­fended his de­ci­sion to re­turn to the LTA fold, Ed­mund was pre­par­ing for his first-round match against the tal­ented Alexan­der Dol­go­polov of Ukraine. The 20-yearold York­shire­man, cheered on by Mur­ray in Paris, prac­tised and lunched with the world No.3 again just be­fore Queen’s Club. He also said he would ask the Scot for a few point­ers on his tricky op­po­nent, and re­vealed that a mix-up which had led to him miss­ing the world No.3’s nup­tials.

“At the time of the wed­ding, I was play­ing in Amer­ica, so I said ‘Sorry, I can’t’,” said Ed­mund. “But then I was a lit­tle bit ill, and my coach’s wife had her due date brought early. So we de­cided to come back and I was ac­tu­ally in the UK on the day. They said you should have said and we would have ar­ranged it. But I didn’t want to up­set any­thing. He was cool about it.”

Think­ing of an orig­i­nal wed­ding gift was also a chore. “When we’ve been out in Mi­ami, he’s let me stay in his apart­ment,” added Ed­mund, who has Ward and Al­jaz Be­dene for com­pany in the sec­ond round to­day.

“He’s done a lot for me so I felt like I needed to give him a proper gift. So I got him a car­i­ca­ture. It was of him and Kim with the two dogs by the side. Andy was in a kilt. And do you re­mem­ber that T-shirt that Kim wore, say­ing Parental Ad­vi­sory? I had that on there as well. He said he found it re­ally funny. Maybe he didn’t but he said he did.”

I was ac­tu­ally pretty ter­ri­ble. Ob­vi­ously you’ve got to be a pretty good player to play with Andy and I was quite ner­vous around him

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