|Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July|
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For Liam Broady, walking out on to Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Thursday was the culmination of a childhood dream – and what happened next was, as he said, “the icing on the cake”.
The Briton, ranked 142nd in the world, produced the biggest shock of the tournament so far, ousting fourth seed and recent French Open finalist Casper Ruud in five sets.
It was the 29-year-old’s first win over a top-five player and his first win on one of the most iconic tennis arenas of all.
“It was a pretty terrifying, exhilarating experience coming out at Centre Court – but it’s been my dream since I was five years old,” he said.
“I played on Court One in the finals of the juniors [in 2011]. I was a set and a break up. I completely choked it. That has kind of haunted me my entire career.
“It always bothered me coming back, playing on the bigger courts and never really feeling like I was comfortable and had performed.”
Wildcard Broady has yet to break into the top 100 and has never won a title on the ATP Tour.
His only other experience of playing on Centre Court was a straight-set defeat in 2016 by Andy Murray, who went on to take the title.
Reaching the third round of Wimbledon in this manner is undoubtedly the biggest moment of his career and has earned him £131,000. “Not bad for a day’s work,” he joked.
A humble lad from Stockport, Broady said he would spend the money on “reinvesting in myself” and paying his three-person team – two coaches and his brother, who manages his schedule.
“It’s not cheap. The expenses in tennis are the highest among any sport that I know of,” he said.
“I don’t have a car. I don’t take holidays. I don’t have a house.
“For me, I want to be able to support my family in any way I can. I want to not have to worry for the rest of my life.”
His sister Naomi, a former player and current BBC pundit, watched on proudly as he beat Ruud – but their mum rarely stays to see his matches through, as she gets so nervous.
A popular character on the Tour, Broady has often used his platform to show himself as an ally, wearing rainbow laces at the Australian Open last year to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
An avid Manchester City fan, Broady said this year had already been the best of his life after this beloved team won the Treble.
His winning celebration – cupping his hands to his ears – was originally inspired by City and England winger Jack Grealish.
This year, he added on a dance across the court, lapping up the noise of a thrilled, packed Centre Court crowd, urging them for more.
As Broady said after the win, opportunities to play on Centre Court at Wimbledon don’t come along very often.
“I’m 29, I only have so many Wimbledons left in my career. This has to be seen as a reward. You have to take the bull by the horns,” he added.