Liam Broady battled his way into the second round of Wimbledon on Monday evening on the same day his sister, Naomi, lost her first round match at SW19.
The Broady brood (both wildcards) were the first British siblings to play at Wimbledon since Buster and Linda Mottram in the 1978 championship. And while Naomi lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, her brother beat Australia's Marinko Matosevic 5-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3.
Not a bad achievement for the 21-year-old from Stockport, who at 182 on the world rankings was 44 places below his Aussie opponent. The British number six was roared on by his sister at his courtside, but not his dad, Simon. The two fell out three years ago when Liam accepted Lawn Tennis Association [LTA] funding, a decision that outraged his old man.
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According to The Times, in 2007 the LTA "stripped Naomi of her funding after she posted pictures to a social networking site of herself wearing a minidress and posing provocatively next to a condom machine in a lavatory". She was 17 at the time and said subsequently: "It happened and I still to this day don't particularly see what was the big deal. I wasn't doing drugs, I wasn't paralytic drunk on the floor. It was just a stupid, jokey pose."
Incensed by what he viewed as the LTA's draconian punishment, Simon Broady severed all links with the LTA and funded his children's coaching himself. He sold the family home in Stockport and for five years oversaw Liam's burgeoning career, which included reaching the final of the junior Wimbledon final in 2011. But when the youngster accepted LTA funding in 2012, his father "viewed the decision as a betrayal" and refused to have anything further to do with him.
Asked if his win might lead to a reconciliation, Liam told reporters: "To be honest, my dad's not even popped into my head with the result."
However, the British number six did praise the support of the rest of the family, explaining: "It was fantastic to have my sister there and the rest of my family watching. That's what makes it more special, is being able to share such a moment that I'll remember for the rest of my life with so many people that I love."
Broady's victory, his first in a Grand Slam main draw, sets up a second round tie against Belgian 16th seed David Goffin. The win also guarantees Broady a minimum £47,000 in prize money, although some of that sum might be forfeited after he received an audible obscenity warning. "Being from Manchester and 21, you know, my friends, people swear," he said ruefully. "But it's not right to do it, obviously, in front of a couple thousand people, especially when there's young kids in the audience."
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