Double delight for Broom in Ilkley

Victory over Kukushkin comes along with Wimbledon qualifying wild card

Charles Broom in action during his men's singles semi-final match against Billy Harris (Reuters/Peter Cziborra via Beat Media Group subscription)

By Paul Eddison, Sportsbeat

Charles Broom celebrated a spectacular Wednesday as he was awarded a wild card into Wimbledon qualifying before defeating veteran Mikhael Kukushkin at the LTA’s Lexus Ilkley Open.

A run to the final of the Rothesay Open in Nottingham last week demonstrated the sort of form Broom is currently in, and he backed that up by beating former world No.39 Kukushkin 7-6 (2) 6-1.

At the same time as he was wrapping up that victory in Ilkley, Broom was announced as one of six British men given wild cards into Wimbledon singles qualifying, while he is also entered into the main draw in men’s doubles alongside Arthur Fery.

Broom was understandably thrilled at receiving the wild card.

He said: “I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity. Winning builds confidence in a lot of ways, so I’m looking forward to carrying on this week, doing my best here and then qualifying will be great.

“Against (Kukushkin), because he’s so awkward, you have to be malleable to what he’s coming at you with. I think my serve was probably the key standout to give me a chance to stay up in a lot of the games. You have to mix it around a lot but he’s tricky so I’m happy to come through.

“It was really good. It was nice to be back out on the grass. The weather hasn’t been the best in the last couple of days but I felt I settled into how he plays.

“It’s quite tricky with his backhand but I felt as the match went on, I was starting to feel more comfortable. In the second set, I played some of my best tennis.”

Next up for Broom is a clash with 21-year-old American Zachary Svajda, who got the better of Maxime Cressy in his opening match.

And while they have not yet faced off, Broom has been keeping a close eye on his future opponent.

He added: “I’ve watched him quite a lot, but he’s extremely talented. He’s got a lot of pedigree at this level. I’m going in with nothing to lose.

“I love it here. I’ve stayed the last couple of years with host families. The people make it special, so I love coming back here and playing.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website