BRITISH number three, Naomi Broady, could use home advantage to help lift the Aegon Manchester Trophy, according to Judy Murray.
The mother of men’s world number one, Andy, the Scot believes Stockport’s Broady can “give the locals lots to shout about” when the main tournament commences on June 13.
“It’s always a big buzz when you can play in front of a home crowd,” Murray said, during her special visit to The Northern.
“The Northern is one of the few venues in the North of the country that has enough grass courts to host a major women’s event so I’m sure the crowd will get behind Naomi. Her game is perfectly suited to grass, she’s 6’2”, she has one of the biggest serves in the women’s game, she likes to come forward and she has a big wing-span because she’s so tall.
She’s very difficult to get the ball past at the net, so hopefully she can rise to the occasion and give the locals lots to shout about.”
Broady, who trains at The Northern, will also be buoyed by the significant increase in prize money to $100,000 for the ITF Women’s Circuit event – double the amount available for the men’s event last year.
With her son working tirelessly to remove opponents in a fiercely competitive French Open at Roland Garros, former Fed Cup captain Murray recalled her son’s visit to the Northern 14 years ago.
At 16, the Scot kick-started his grass court success as he won his first professional grass-court match at the club.
Neville Hewer, Chairman of The Northern was delighted to welcome Mrs Murray to the venue and delved through the archives to confirm memories of her previous visit:
“Andy got to the quarter-finals in our grass-court Challenger event in 2003, his first tournament on the Challenger circuit,” he said.
“Just like Pete Sampras who won his first grass-court tournament at The Northern, we can say that Andy Murray started his grass-court success at the The Northern before he went on to win Wimbledon.”
While in Manchester, Murray, who works hard to drive participation in tennis among girls and women, ran her ‘She Rallies’ programme.
Children from tennis programmes and schools across the city took part in the including Fletcher Moss Community Tennis, Manchester High School for Girls, The Northern and Kidszone.
She added: “She Rallies is a programme that I created for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to help to drive participation and retention amongst girls and women in tennis.
“We need many more female coaches and we need a lot more girls coming into the game, so it’s perfect to promote the ‘She Rallies’ programme against the backdrop of a major women’s tennis event like the Aegon Manchester Trophy.”