Alex De Minaur sees off spirited Liam Broady to reach Wimbledon fourth round

Alex De Minaur is through to the second week of Wimbledon for the first time after ending Liam Broady’s excellent run

After reaching new ground at Wimbledon, Liam Broady could not find a way past Alex De Minaur but with that there is no disgrace. There are few players harder to put away than the Australian and in rattling off a 6-3 6-4 7-5 win on Court No 1, De Minaur produced a series of stunning chase downs and recoveries to leave the British wildcard with no answers. Backed by a deceptively powerful and overwhelmingly efficient serve, De Minaur put away a spirited late rally from Broady to get over the line in two hours and 24 minutes.

It remains a landmark week for Broady, whose five-set victory over Diego Schwartzman secured his passage to the third round of a grand slam for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old was unable to join Cameron Norrie and Heather Watson in progressing to the last 16 and although he showed plenty of fight he faced an unbreachable wall on the other side of the court in De Minaur.

The 23-year-old was a tenacious and irritating pest to the Broady game throughout, his performance engaging and full of its roadrunner-like qualities. De Minaur flings himself across the court and the number of balls he was able to chase down reduced Broady’s weapons and added significant pressure on his service game. De Minaur was always going to be a tough task for Broady. The 19th seed dug deep to outlast Jack Draper in an absorbing late-night battle on Court No 1 on Thursday and he returned to face another left-handed British opponent here.

The graft of De Minaur took away Broady’s left-handed forehand and left the 28-year-old with just the single winner in the opener. De Minaur may have got a fortunate net cord to help him to the decisive break but he landed six aces and won every point on his first serve. That streak did not end until it reached 21 points midway through the second, at which stage De Minaur had broken again. After scrambling back to reach the Broady pass at the net he produced a wonderful lob to continue what was turning out to be a sparkling performance.

De Minaur skipped after slicing an audacious drop shot but Broady rallied by saving three break points, as he was finally able to drive past the Australian with an excellent hold. It earned him applause and recognition from the Court One crowd and afterwards the Briton had a glimpse of a chance on 0-30. From there, Broady clipped the net cord but a thrilling dash from De Minaur saw him flip the pick-up over the net and then put away the backhand volley in the point of the match.

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It was followed by an ace and when Broady framed the forehand it looked the closest he would get to De Minaur’s serve. The Australian was relentless and Broady was immediately faced with break points on his opening service game of the third. A double fault looked to be a fatal blow but Broady responded to set up his first opportunity of the match in the following game. Another net cord from Broady was again met by De Minaur, who revived another dead ball and would not go down.

Broady showed impressive resolve and Court 1 rose as he broke De Minaur’s serve when the Australian served for the match. For the first time, errors creeped into De Minaur’s game on the forehand side and Broady nodded as the home crowd recognised his fight to extend the contest. But as the unlikely prospect of a comeback took shape, De Minaur broke straight back when a misguided challenge from Broady on 15-30 was followed by a volley into the net.

Closing it out proved arduous for De Minaur, who tightened again when serving for the match and faced four more break points. De Minaur replied with winners at every turn and while Broady saved three match points in a gripping final deuce game, the puff of the cheeks from the Australian as he eventually found his first serve showed his relief at seeing off the surging Broady.

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