Liam Broady set to make main tour debut at Aegon Championships

Liam Broady

AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012

Venue:
Queen's Club, London
Date:
11-17 June
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, BBC Two and the red button as well as BBC One HD and BBC HD. Coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

Britain's Liam Broady says he is relishing the chance to test himself at the highest level when he makes his main tour debut at Queen's Club on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old plays Gilles Muller in round one of the Aegon Championships after receiving a wildcard.

"I'm very excited," the Stockport-based player told BBC Sport.

"It will be a fantastic insight into the top of the men's game. I've been looking forward to it all year."

Broady was one of four Britons scheduled to start on Monday, but rain meant the day was abandoned at 17:00 BST without a ball being struck.

He will face 14 seed Muller in the second match on Court One, where play starts at 11:00 on Tuesday.

British number two James Ward is first on Centre Court against ninth seed Kevin Anderson at 12:30, while Jamie Baker and Oliver Golding meet on Court Two at 11:00.

Jamie Murray partners Marcos Baghdatis in the doubles later on Tuesday, while Andy Murray begins his singles title defence against Nicolas Mahut or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Wednesday.

But many eyes will be on Broady, who lifted the Wimbledon boys' doubles title in 2010, reached the Wimbledon boys' singles final last year and won the Australian Open boys' doubles in January.

Having played a combination of Grand Slam tournaments with Futures and Challenger events this season, the left-hander will now get his first taste of the ATP World Tour.

"Over the last year or so I've been playing a lot of the Junior Slams and the juniors quite often get the chance to hit with the pros to warm them up before their matches," said Broady.

"I've hit with Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - the top four. It's fantastic to see what it's like but it's one of the toughest transitions a tennis player can make.

"It's a lot more physical in the men's game than it is in the juniors. The serve's a lot more important and it requires a great deal more focus than the juniors does.

"It's a very long process. It's very hard in the Futures. I've seen a lot of great players get stuck in them. It's one of the toughest things to do and you've got to get out of them as quickly as possible."

Broady is not expected to beat world number 53 Muller but he added: "I've heard a fair bit and know he did quite well on the grass courts last year.

"I've been looking at a few of his matches. I've got my tactics. I'll go out and stay as relaxed and loose as I can because I've got nothing to lose."

Ward, meanwhile, takes on big-serving Anderson hoping to recapture the form that saw him make a surprise run to the semi-finals 12 months ago.

The Londoner beat Dan Cox, Stanislas Wawrinka, Sam Querrey and Adrian Mannarino before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four.

On Monday the points from that performance dropped off his ranking - meaning he slipped from 142nd in the world to 171st - but he hopes to make significant strides in the coming months.

"I'd like to be top-100 by the end of the year," said the 25-year-old. "I set the same goal last year but got injured towards the end of the year and it didn't really help matters.

"It's the same this year and that's what I'm working towards. Once you establish yourself around 80, 90, 100 you can start working towards being top 50 on a regular basis.

"Hopefully I can do what I did last year and maybe a bit better. I played well here and have done on grass for the last couple of years, but you need to be consistent and that's what I'm working on."

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