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January 18, 2022

Liam Broady

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/L. Broady

6-4, 6-4, 6-3

What do you think you will take away after this match?

LIAM BROADY: That Nick serves pretty, I think, good (smiling.) Yeah, you see it on TV, but it's one thing to watch it on TV and then one thing to play against it. It creates a lot of pressure on your own service games. I think that's something in my game that's improved a lot is my own serve but still needs to improve. I put a lot of pressure on myself, not enough first serves.

And the way he orchestrates the crowd, again, you see videos on TV, but it doesn't do it justice when you're playing in front of an Aussie crowd, Nick Kyrgios's home court. It was pretty crazy out there. But glad to have got it out of the way.

But, no, I mean good experience and I think that's the good thing about playing the great players is that you can always learn very quickly about what you need to work on.

Q. What was it like as an experience?

LIAM BROADY: I mean, everyone is telling me, like, Oh you'll really enjoy it. It's going to be amazing. But I thought it was absolutely awful. I obviously wanted to go out there and win, so, I mean, losing matches in general isn't enjoyable.

The atmosphere was incredible, but it was, it's the first time I've ever walked onto a tennis court and been booed, which was, which for me was a crazy experience. You get sledgened from the sides like you can't believe that they don't pick up on TV. So it was a very, very difficult atmosphere to try and handle, and like I said, he's incredible at getting them behind him and he plays better for it. I think that's very rare, especially in the sport of tennis. Now people don't really interact with the crowd like he does and that's one of his biggest strengths.

But, no, like I said, I'm glad to have played the match and to have got the experience, and for a Brit to go and play on John Cain against Kyrgios is probably one of the tougher atmospheres in tennis to play. So it stands me in good stead for the rest of the year anyway.

Q. Any of the sledging that you received repeatable?

LIAM BROADY: Not much of it, no. I was pretty surprised at it, to be honest (laughing).

But at the end of the day, as tennis players we're entertainers, and as long as the crowd are enjoying it I think we're doing our job. So I try not to let it, obviously it's got to be water off a duck's back. You're focused on trying to win the match. But it was definitely a different experience.

I suppose the Battle of the Brits team event we played a few years ago was pretty similar, so I had a little bit of experience on how to handle it because I remember at that event at first I would spend time interacting with the guys sledging me and you would end up losing focus on the match, which was a good thing because at the start of the match today people were sledging you and your instant reaction is to sledge them back, but you end up losing focus on the match and it's worse, so you just got to try and block it out and just get on with the match.

Q. I saw you laughing with Nick at one point. Do you feel he crossed the line at any point tonight?

LIAM BROADY: I mean, it's difficult. You know, I mean, I know what Nick's like and I saw a few of the guys in the lockers before and they said, Are you ready for the disrespect out there?

I don't think it's personal. If I felt like it was personal and it was malicious, then I would probably feel like he crossed the line, but as I said, I mean, our job is to entertain the people and for them to enjoy the tennis that they come to watch and he does that and full respect to him. That's what tennis is about, I think.

Q. You used the word disrespect. Would you use that word?

LIAM BROADY: Well, it wasn't me that used it. Someone said to me, Are you ready for the disrespect out there? Because sometimes he makes you feel stupid with the shots he hits, with the underarm serves through the legs and the little lobs and the dinks and then the big hits, and sometimes you feel like a bit of a club player out there. That's what he does.

Again, that's one ever his biggest weapons. I don't think you would ever, I think if you told Nick to stop all of that showmanship and all the stuff that he does it would take away a big strength of his game. So, I mean, yeah, I am all for it, to be honest, even when it's against me.

Q. He said he was in bed with COVID like a week ago. I mean, how insanely talented is he that he can just go out and do that?

LIAM BROADY: Yeah, that's incredible to me. It's amazing that, I don't think he's played a match since September, and then he can come out and serve at 83 percent, 21 aces, and be hitting two first serves and, you know, maybe from the back today he might not have been feeling as good as he can do, so I'm sure there's probably more to come from him.

But in my opinion, Nick's one of, if not the most talented player in the sport. I think he had winning records against -- was it Novak and Rafa? I mean, you're not an amateur if you've got winning records against players like that. I mean, I think he could win, if he could get his body right, there's no reason why he wouldn't be at the top of the sport and winning everything. I mean, that's how good I think he is.

Q. Slightly different topic. I noticed you were wearing rainbow laces on the court today. Firstly, thank you for that and also what sort of message did you want to send with those?

LIAM BROADY: Yeah, I mean, I just kind of wanted to send the support. I know obviously within men's tennis -- is it a taboo? I don't think it's really a taboo, but I've seen questions before about why there aren't any openly gay men on the tour, and I just wanted to kind of voice my support in that kind of general area.

And the LGBTQ community, I mean, a lot of those guys have given me a lot of support throughout my career and have been there since day one, so I kind of wanted to give a thank you of my own sort of way.

Q. I know it's a big topic, but if you could maybe reflect on why you think maybe there hasn't been an openly gay male player. Is there a culture --

LIAM BROADY: I don't think so. I mean, I guess the society we live in there's a culture like that, right? Especially in sport. I saw that the first openly gay footballer just came out in Australia a month or two ago. And it's difficult, right? I mean, it's a big thing to do and at the end of the day in the 21st century, it's pretty rubbish that people don't feel like they can be openly gay. It's quite sad, really.

But, you know, hopefully help raise awareness for it and if there are people in the locker rooms and you kind of, you don't want to force them to come out, you know, especially if they don't want to. It's their choice. So you just got to try and support in the way you can and just let them know that everything's okay.

Q. Do you know of any players that have wanted to come out in the past? Are you aware of any players that perhaps are not prepared to say that while they're still playing?

LIAM BROADY: No. No, I'm not. Yeah, I guess if there were, then I guess we would already know because, I mean, tennis with that sort of stuff is a pretty leaky ship, isn't it? Like, I mean, all the newsletters and stuff that come out, everyone finds out straight away. So, yeah, I know of no one.

Q. Dan Evans was in a press conference saying that in his opinion he doesn't feel like there's a real strength in depth in British tennis compared to say Italy or Portugal. You've got some really good elites like yourself, but the 250s, 300s, perhaps, and he wants players, lower-ranked players, to be fitter as well. I just wonder if you have any opinions to back that up or any sort of reflections as to what Evans was saying?

LIAM BROADY: Yeah, I think Dan's in a better place than I am to comment on that stuff. He's engineered a brilliant tennis career and he's only going from strength to strength, so he's in a better place to have a view on that.

I think that we've got some good guys coming through. Now, I mean, I'm really proud with the last year that we've had anyway. I mean, we've had multiple first-time Futures winners that in my lifetime I haven't seen that many as we had last year in a year. You've got Paul Jubb, Jay Clarke, Aidan McHugh, Jack Draper, Felix Gill, you know, there's so many, I probably missed out on another 10 there that I think could go on to become good players.

I think players like Dan directly influence that because he's fantastic to train with and to see practicing and for those boys to be around and to try and understand what it takes to be a good player that maybe someone like myself could have benefited from as an influence when I was younger.

I don't know about the fitness one, I mean, again, he probably knows better than I do.

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