Liam Broady glad to make Wimbledon ‘in one piece’ after injury and concussion

Liam Broady felt he was “bailing water out of a sinking ship” after suffering a concussion following months out with an ankle injury.

The 30-year-old reached the third round of Wimbledon last year, beating Casper Ruud on Centre Court, and finally cracked the top 100 in September.

But this year has been a story of frustration, with a bone stress on his ankle turning into a fracture and then, just when he was almost ready to come back, a freak accident when he hit his head on his own car boot in a car park.

“There was a low hanging metal pipe, it’s an electric boot so I paused it half way, as I opened the boot a load of tennis balls and stuff fell out, so I bent down to pick them all up then stood back up and knocked my head, obviously knocked it in a funny place,” explained Broady.

“At the time I was in a bit of a daze. I’d liken it to stubbing your toe, all you can think about is how much it hurts. I went to bed that night fine, the next day I felt great, was practising and after about 45 minutes I got a migraine, my eyes got a bit funny, I couldn’t really see.

“I get migraines with my eyes getting strained so I just assumed it was one of those. I went to check my phone and it was like I had dyslexia, I couldn’t read words, was slurring my speech, nausea, really strange emotions.

“It was just a bizarre experience. I think everyone thought I was joking when I put it on Twitter. I don’t think my mum thought it was serious.

“It’s been an interesting few months. I’ve never probably been out from match play for more than six to eight weeks before.

“It’s been all like bailing water out of a sinking ship trying to get fit, sorting the ankle out and then my head injury. At the end of all of it I’m pretty glad that I’ve managed to make it in one piece.”

Broady is especially irked by the turn of events having begun the season with a good run at the ATP Tour event in Hong Kong.

“It’s been the most frustrating six months of my life,” he said. “I felt like I was playing the best tennis of my career.

Liam Broady celebrates victory over Casper Ruud at Wimbledon
Liam Broady celebrates victory over Casper Ruud (Adam Davy/PA)

“After Hong Kong, beating some top players quite comfortably and for the first time in my career going on court against (Andrey) Rublev with a bad ankle thinking, ‘I can compete with this guy, I can compete with anyone’.

“The last few weeks I’ve just felt old, so many aches and pains, but I think that’s less about my age and more just that I’ve not really played as much as I’d have liked to over the last few months.”

The victory over Ruud was arguably the best moment of Broady’s career, and he hopes his experience will compensate for a lack of match play when he takes on Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Monday.

“At this stage I’m very comfortable at Wimbledon,” said Broady. “This is my home. I’ve had some great moments, had some tough moments. I know how this tournament works as well as anybody now so, as long as the body holds up, which I believe it will do, I think it will be a good match.”