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Fans favourite Broady still smiling despite defeat

By Steve Simpson

Published 08/01/2016

Naomi Broady of Great Britain plays a forehand return against Sloane Stephens of the USA during day four of the 2016 ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Arena on January 7, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand
Naomi Broady of Great Britain plays a forehand return against Sloane Stephens of the USA during day four of the 2016 ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Arena on January 7, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand

British number three Naomi Broady bowed out with a smile after her run in the ASB Classic came to an end with a quarter-final defeat to American Sloane Stephens.

Stephens fired a cross-court backhand winner to seal a 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 victory.

Broady posted on Instagram: "Don't think I've ever walked off court after losing with a smile on my face. Auckland I love you!!!

"Thanks for such an amazing tournament and the best support I've ever experienced outside of my home country. Totally unforgettable."

Broady had followed up a surprise win over former world number one Ana Ivanovic with a battling second-round victory over Jelena Ostapenko. That win over the world number 84 saw controversy as Broady called for the Latvian to be disqualified after throwing away her racquet in the second set tie-break, appearing to hit a ball boy.

A quarter-final meeting with American fifth seed Stephens proved a step too far.

Despite having a set point in the tie-break, Broady could not capitalise as Stephens moved ahead.

Broady broke Stephens' serve to lead 2-1 in the second set but from there the American won four straight games to lead 5-2 before wrapping up victory.

After the match Stephens paid tribute to her opponent as she said: "It was a tough one. Naomi's a great player.

"She has had such a great week here."

Despite being broken four times, Rafael Nadal managed to make his way into the Qatar Open semi-finals by beating Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Nadal lost his serve on all four break points he faced against the 79th-ranked Kuznetsov. The second-seeded Spaniard broke his opponent's serve five times in 10 attempts.

Nadal will next play Illya Marchenko. The Ukrainian, who beat David Ferrer in the first round, defeated seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3, 7-6 (3). World No 1 Novak Djokovic was also a winner, beating Leonardo Mayer 6-3 7-5

Kyle Edmund's career-best ATP Tour run came to an end with defeat in the quarter-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

The Davis Cup winner lost 6-3 6-2 to world No 6 Tomas Berdych but can reflect on the best top-level tournament of his career so far.

The Beverley man was outplayed by the Czech, who sent down seven aces and took 73 per cent of the points on his first serve - Edmund winning just 56 per cent. He did earn four break points but was unable to take any.

Belfast Telegraph

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