Brilliant Broady roars past Ruud in five-set Wimbledon thriller

Jonathan Davies in Wimbledon 06 Jul 2023
Broady thrilled his home crowd on Centre Court (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Liam Broady claimed the biggest win of his career as he stunned fourth seed Casper Ruud in a five-set thriller at Wimbledon on Thursday.

The likeable Briton delighted his home crowd as he recovered from two sets to one down on his Centre Court bow, before dominating the deciding set to advance to round three a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 winner.

While recording the first top-10 victory of his career, Broady matched his best performance at a grand slam, having also reached this stage at SW19 12 months ago after defeating 12th seed Diego Schwartzman along the way.

The world number 142 will now play 26th seed Denis Shapovalov in the last 32 later this week.

“It’s a pretty terrifying, exhilarating experience coming out on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” he said during his post-match on-court interview. “It’s been my dream since I was five years old.

“Denis is a mercurial talent; he’s one of the best players in the world. He’s an amazing player but with a crowd like this, why not have a go again?!”

Broady was aiming to become only the fourth wildcard – after Pat Cash, Goran Ivanisevic and Nick Kyrgios – to beat a top-four seed at Wimbledon, and he started well by breaking his opponent on the way to taking the opening set.

Ruud, a finalist at three of the last five majors, arrived with a 4-5 career record on grass, but demonstrated his class by roaring back into the contest and completing the turnaround to move a set away from his first third-round appearance at the All England Club.

But cheered on by his family and the excited Centre Court crowd, Broady rallied to take the contest the distance, hoping to extend his perfect career record in fifth sets (4-0).

And the former juniors doubles champion and singles runner-up at Wimbledon did so in emphatic fashion, becoming the first wildcard to bagel a fifth set against a top-five opponent at a slam.

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