Broady misses out on quarter-finals as seeds fall at Eastbourne
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Britain’s Liam Broady put up a strong fight against World No.18 Alex de Minaur in the second round of the Viking International Eastbourne, but eventually lost 6-3, 6-4 in a match lasting an hour and 41 minutes.
Broady – who defeated Viking Open Nottingham champion Frances Tiafoe in the opening round – had chances to get ahead at a number of stages in the match, but the Australian showed great defence to save seven out of eight break points.
The British No.5 certainly started the brighter of the two. Bouncing around at the back of the court and hitting his groundstrokes with venom, Broady picked up a comfortable hold and very quickly had two break points, but failed to capitalise.
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De Minaur has enjoyed a brilliant start to the grass court season, which has seen him reach the semi-finals at the cinch Championships last week and he quickly found his feet in the match.
After a rather slow start, he began showing his world-class levels of consistency, making Broady work hard for every point and coming out on top in the big moments. In the end the pressure told as a double break from De Minaur, wrapped up the set.
It was a similar story in the second set. Once again Broady was gifted opportunities to break early but just couldn’t get past the wall that was De Minaur as a passing shot at the net inched just wide. The pair exchanged breaks late in the set, but serving to stay in the match Broady made a couple of costly errors which sealed the win for the second seed.
“It was a very tough match at a very hard level against a tricky opponent,” said de Minaur. “It’s a great win and I’m very happy to come out here and play some great tennis especially in front of a crowd, which as a player you truly miss.
“I’m always looking forward to the grass court swing – we missed out last year so it’s safe to say I’m here and I’m really enjoying myself on the grass.”
In a day of upsets at the Viking International Eastbourne, second and third seeds Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu were defeated in the second round.
World No.5 Svitolina was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (3) in an inspired performance by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina. Rybakina – who came through against Britain’s Harriet Dart yesterday – showed phenomenal power to hit 32 winners on her way a sixth win against a top ten opponent.
Former US Open champion Andreescu lost to World No.27 Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and seven minutes. Having won her one and only WTA title on grass back in 2017 at the Libema Open, Kontaveit will hope that she can add to her tally this week off the back of her second biggest win of the season.
In the men’s draw, top seed Gael Monfils was edged out in a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 defeat to Australia’s Max Purcell. Entering the tournament as a lucky loser from qualifying, Purcell picked up his best career victory in a match where Monfils led 3-0 in the deciding set.
Normal service resumed later on Court 1 as World No.4 Aryna Sabalenka put on a clinic in grass court tennis, beating Alison Riske 6-1, 6-4. Having defeated the American in the 2019 finals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, Sabalenka wasted no time in showing why she’s the favourite in this year’s event.
The 2018 Viking International Eastbourne runner-up blasted 34 winners past Riske and won 85% of points on her first serve to round off a commanding victory. She will meet Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in the quarter-final.
In the doubles, there were plenty of positive results for the Brits as Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray, Luke Bambridge and Lloyd Glasspool all came through their opening matches without dropping a set. Meanwhile Jonny O’Mara and Hugo Nys picked up the scalp of the first round defeating brothers Ken and Neal Skupski in a deciding tie-break, 2-6, 6-3, 10-8.