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July 3, 2018

Naomi Broady

Wimbledon, London, England


6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tough loss, but a great fight back in the second set. Talk us through how you felt in that game.
NAOMI BROADY: It was obviously an amazing experience to play on Centre Court, and I just want to play there every match, really. You understand when people say that it's almost like a privilege to get to play there. It's really amazing, especially to have the home crowd in there getting so behind me in the second set.

And I love playing in front of a crowd. I think that really helped me to keep going, keep digging deeper and find something else to give.

The first set was really close. Even though it was 6-2, I had a couple of break points in some of the games. She left for a bathroom break and I wasn't happy with my serve. So I kind of asked the chair umpire if I could get some old balls out just to hit some and just to kind of relax and get my arm a bit looser.

I was definitely getting better as the match went on and settling into the court and getting used to the conditions and the atmosphere. It's a shame I couldn't win the second set.

Q. It seemed in the second set you really started to enjoy yourself.
NAOMI BROADY: I enjoyed the whole match. It probably didn't maybe seem like it at the start, but I think the more I got into it, it was extremely enjoyable. Again, especially with the crowd, the more they started to enjoy it and get into it, the more I did, as well.

Yeah, I'm not going to say I'm happy or satisfied that I lost, but I'm pleased that I was able to at least find parts of my game that weren't working from the start, and I was definitely moving in the right direction.

Q. She seems to specifically step up her game at the slams. I was just wondering, what is the biggest challenge of playing her at a major?
NAOMI BROADY: Playing at a Grand Slam?

I think everybody just wants to win that a bit more. I think it's quite difficult mentally. This is kind of what we try and peak for. You know, we have four of them throughout the year, so you kind of try and build up to each one and then rest just after and build up again.

I know there are a lot of players that only played one tournament before here, so it's kind of a fast transition after the clay to get your game ready for the grass. Roger obviously just skips the clay completely to prepare and peak for here at Wimbledon.

I think for a lot of players they really revolve their schedule. That includes their fitness and training, as well, so they'll do really heavy weights maybe just after Roland Garros and build up to be here. There is probably lots of different reasons as to why her game's right at the peak. She's maybe working on stuff throughout the rest of the year in other tournaments, knowing if she goes well in the Grand Slams that's what's keeps your ranking up.

Q. There was a huge roar when you were a couple of break points down I think on your serve, 4-3. How much of an impact did that have? You seemed to really get a lift from that and your whole game improved after that, I thought.
NAOMI BROADY: Yeah, I haven't played in front of that size crowd. I think that's definitely the biggest. I have played on Court 1 and I've played on Margaret Court. I think that's definitely the biggest I have played in front of.

I'm a player that definitely plays better in front of a crowd. The more they were cheering, my level was going up, so they needed to cheer louder and maybe it would have gone up even higher.

I play an event after Wimbledon called World Team Tennis in America, and it's sort of the same thing. I really get involved with the crowd there, and I think it lifts my energy more than anything. When my energy goes up and I get fired up, I think I play my best tennis.

Q. What are the kind of differences in Centre Court? Because obviously it's a bigger environment, bigger run-off. What are the challenges compared to the courts you play on on the regular tour?
NAOMI BROADY: Yeah, it's slightly slower than some of the outside courts because it's had less play on it, as well. But it's mainly just how you view the court, because as you say, the run-offs are so much bigger. It kind of changes how the court looks. It almost looks a different size.

So I was kind of trying to adjust to that. I did the walk-on just behind Roger yesterday just to see where I would be going, because GarbiƱe has obviously done it a lot of times and I have never been on Centre, so I wanted to see where I would be going.

Just to hear the crowd as Roger went on, it was completely overwhelming yesterday when I did it. I was really glad I did that, because when I went on today I was kind of prepared and ready for it. But I think it's definitely an advantage if you have played on there before and you know what's coming and what to expect.

Q. Looking at the two player groups' support boxes, it's funny to see GarbiƱe's as smaller, and you had incredible support from friends and family.
NAOMI BROADY: Obviously when you're English and you play at Wimbledon, every man and his dog wants to come and watch, and everyone suddenly has an interest in your career for this one week of the year (smiling) or two weeks if you do well.

Q. So you had a lot of requests?
NAOMI BROADY: You always have a lot of requests. You kind of try and prioritize mainly, you know, close family and stuff first, and then you kind of go down the list as to who pays most attention throughout the year after that (smiling).

They had the rule this year if they didn't make it to the tournament in Manchester they weren't allowed to Wimbledon. So I will see which rules I keep bringing in each year. Maybe I'll demand gifts next year.

Q. You haven't played her in a long time, maybe 2011. What do you make of her game at the moment? What do you think of her strengths?
NAOMI BROADY: I definitely think her mentality. As you say, she steps up for the Grand Slams. A couple of people told me she can be in and out, but at the Grand Slams she's normally always ready and focused and plays her best.

So kind of wasn't a helpful comment to tell me before the match since I'm playing her in a Grand Slam. So definitely her mentality. You know, she's a really aggressive player. I struggled to read her first serve. It wasn't necessarily that it was so fast. It is one of the fastest serves. She's obviously tall, as well, like myself, but it just has a good disguise. She doesn't move the ball toss depending where she serves, so you kind of can't really see where she's going to go.

And then mainly on the important points she doesn't make unforced errors. She's ready. If she has that one or two break points in the match she's likely to win them.

Q. Did you feel early on that you were coping with her power, you could match her?
NAOMI BROADY: Yeah, I think one of the tough things to do when you're playing someone who you often watch on TV or, you know, you know them by name but you haven't necessarily played against them very much, you are trying to just not play the occasion and not play the name of the player and just play the person who is on the other side of the net.

I think that's what I was fighting with myself to do in the first set, and by the second set I kind of relaxed into a good routine with it.

Because you think you have to play so much better than you actually do and you often overhit and make unforced errors, or I was expecting her to hit it much harder. You expect them to be in another world. It's nice to know that they are not, but I think when it comes down to the important moments, the top players make their shots.

Q. You spoke to the referee for a long time, or it looked like that from my seat. I don't know why. What was the issue?
NAOMI BROADY: Because we only had four balls. So I asked where the other balls were. Because normally we play with -- eight? So I asked where the -- because I turned to get more balls on my serve, and they only had two.

So after they rolled them back and I said, Could she get more balls? She said no, because the next game was going to be new balls anyway.

I said, But now we have to play the whole game just with four, because often they were all on the other side, I would have to wait for them to come back. She said no, because the next game was new balls.

I don't know where they went. She didn't know, either.

Q. A bit off-topic but your brother has been very outspoken recently on Twitter about a lot of issues. I'm wondering, is he usually like that talking to you about stuff like that? I'm assuming you're probably proud of him for doing that?
NAOMI BROADY: Yeah, I'm definitely very proud, especially when he speaks out about something that's so important and that he's very passionate about, so when it comes to equality it's not just with men and women. You know, he's very passionate about equality from every aspect in life. Not just within tennis.

But I think most of the guys that have the strong connection to female tennis believe in equality for the prize money. I think if you saw some of the things he retweeted, you'll see the difference in prize money during just the grass court season. I think it was Ben Rothenberg that tweeted it. You see how far behind women's tennis still is with the money.

But he sees the hard work I do and the sacrifices I make. He tried to say sometimes, as a woman, I have to overcome more things than he does just because he's a guy. Because he's so close to me, he's able to see that firsthand, so he's able to speak out about that. I know a lot of the girls are very grateful for it.

Q. I wondered how you slept last night, given it was going to be a big day for you. Did you feel well-rested?
NAOMI BROADY: I did. I was more bothered if it was going to be too hot, because my Airbnb doesn't have air conditioning.

So it was fine. I slept well, thankfully. I was more bothered about the heat than today.

Q. Going back, Liam said to me in that interview he said he got a lot of it, his outspokenness, from his sister. I took it to mean you, but was that your other sister?
NAOMI BROADY: I think he means my other sister. I need to ask him, because I don't think I am the outspoken -- I think he's far more outspoken than I am. I think I'm very much a fence sitter.

I kind of give him the ideas and let him do it and then just support him with what he says. I'm going to blame my other sister and say he must mean her and not me.

Q. Will you watch the football tonight and where will you watch it?
NAOMI BROADY: I will definitely be watching the match tonight. We have been watching all of them already. Probably just in my apartment. I can't really go to the pub because I have doubles. I can't be seen at the pub, anyway, because somebody will definitely take a picture of me and it will look very wrong.

Probably just in my apartment, but I'll definitely be watching. And I think we can actually do well (crossing fingers). I'm not going to jinx it, not going to say too much. We'll see how it goes. Very, very excited for tonight.

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