Great British rising star Naomi Broady, 19, is our featured player for December. During this month, Broady competed in two hard court tournaments in La Habana on the Caribbean island of Cuba.
In the first of the two tournaments in Cuba’s capital city, Broady was seeded No. 1 and came into the tournament on the back of a successful end to November at an ITF Women’s $25,000 tournament in Puebla, Mexico where she won the singles title without dropping a set. The opening round saw Broady ease past Canadian Wild Card entrant, Dredi-Inia Ghinda, dropping just one game in each set. Her second round opponent, Margarita-Greta Skripnik from Israel fared only slightly better than Ghinda as Broady moved comfortably into the Quarterfinal with a 61 62 win. Things got a little tougher in the opening set of her Quarterfinal clash with Austrian Lisa Summerer, with Broady taking the set 64. From here she was to lose no more than two games in a set for the remainder of the tournament.
Following her 64 62 Quarterfinal triumph, Broady faced seeded opposition for the first time in the tournament in Germany’s Karolina Nowak, who was seeded fifth. Continuing as she had done in the early stages of this $10,000 tournament, Broady dominated and soon notched up a 62 62 win which took her into her fourth singles final of 2009. The final, against sixth seeded Russian Yana Koroleva, saw Broady claim her third career singles title, and second in successive weeks, with an impressive 62 60 victory.
Staying in La Habana for another $10,000 ITF Pro Circuit tournament, Broady was again named as the top seed. In the first round she came up against fellow Brit Jennifer Allan, who had come through the qualifying event. Another straight forward win looked on the cards when Broady raced through the opening set with the loss of just one game but in the second set, Allan pushed Broady all the way and eventually a tie break was required which was narrowly won by Broady 7-5. The second round match against Janina Toljan from Austria featured two contrasting sets just as in the first round and again it was Broady who emerged the victor, this time 62 75. Colombia’s Paula-Catalina Robles-Garcia was then seen off 62 61 in the Quarterfinal to set up a Semi Final with the No. 3 seed, Zuzana Linhova from the Czech Republic. The first set was closely fought by the two players and it was Linhova who took it 64, this was the first set dropped by Broady since her return to the ITF Pro Circuit in Puebla last month. In the now unfamiliar position of being a set down, Broady hit back immediately in spectacular fashion and levelled the match without loss of a game in the second set. Broady then wrapped up victory in the deciding set to win through to a third consecutive singles final 46 60 64. Standing in her way of a hat trick of consecutive singles titles was Italian No. 5 seed Valentine Confalonieri. This final, like last week, proved to be a rather one-sided affair as Broady cruised to victory in straight sets, 62 62.
This win, not only gave Broady her fourth singles title from five career finals, all in 2009, but also gave her a new record of consecutive wins for a female British player on the ITF Pro Circuit. Including matches played en-route to the Puebla title at the end of November, Broady has now won fifteen consecutive matches, surpassing the previous best of fourteen set by Anne Keothavong between March and April 2005.
Broady was also given more cause for celebration with the release of the WTA World Rankings on December 28th 2009 which showed she had climbed to a career high singles ranking of 298.
To find out if Naomi Broady can extend her match win streak in 2010 follow her progress on www.mctagroup.com