Brits Gabriella Taylor, Naomi Broady and Samantha Murray all progressed to the second round at the LTA’s Manchester Trophy on Wednesday despite testing weather conditions at The Northern Tennis Club.
She played pretty well in the first set and she’s a tough opponent to play on grass, she did really well last year, Gabriella Taylor
Southampton’s Taylor battled back from a set down to triumph over world No.187 Viktoriya Tomova in one hour 59 minutes on Court 3. The wildcard failed to win a game in the first set, falling 6-0 in 21 minutes but found her rhythm in the second, breaking twice to take the set 6-4. A loose service game in the third game of the decider gave the Bulgarian an early advantage but the world No.365 broke back for 5-5 and then edged the tiebreak to claim a 0-6 6-4 7-6(4) victory.
“She played pretty well in the first set and she’s a tough opponent to play on grass, she did really well last year,” said Taylor. “After the first set I thought ‘keep going, keep at it’ and I got through. I played a lot better tennis and I’m happy with my level,” said Taylor.
Taylor’s opponent in the next round will be countrywoman Broady who upset No.4 seed Lin Zhu 6-3 6-3 in 68 minutes in the first match on Centre Court. Manchester’s Broady used her serve to great effect throughout the match, racing to a 3-0 lead in the first set on her way to claiming the opener in 27 minutes before securing another early break in the second. Broady was leading 3-1 when Zhu recovered the break but the world No.392 recovered quickly, claiming the last three games of the match to record a straight sets victory.
“I served really well especially in the first set. I was hitting a lot of aces which helped me out a lot,” said Broady. “She’s ranked a lot higher than me so I knew at some point she was going to get going and start pushing me and she started to do that in the second set. I just tried to keep my cool, know that I was still a set ahead, concentrate on my tactics and not feel too much pressure from the score.”
Stockport’s Murray also recorded a two-set victory, overcoming Asia Muhammad, a player ranked 249 places above her, 6-3 7-6(1) on an indoor hard court in one hour 25 minutes. Murray, who advanced through qualifying, broke her opponent in the second game of the match and was never headed, breaking again in the ninth game to take the first set. The second set was a much closer affair with some clinical serving helping Murray to clinch the match in the tiebreak.
“I think I played a really good match. I was really solid from the start to the finish and I served well throughout,” said Murray. “She has a big serve so it was just about getting a few good returns in to get the break. I wasn’t able to do that in the second set but I played a strong tiebreak.”
There was first round disappointment for Britain’s Alicia Barnett, who lost to No.7 seed Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-1, Emily Webley-Smith, who also only managed to win four games in her 6-1 6-3 defeat to Katherine Sebov, and Katy Dunne, who was forced to retire with an adductor injury at 1-2 down in her match against No.8 seed Whitney Osuigwe.