July 23, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior Megan Broderick’s incredible streak in the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Tournament has come to an end. After earning a wildcard into the qualifying round, Broderick battled through three matches into the main draw. Fellow American Ahsha Rolle put up quite the fight to end Broderick’s run, 6-1, 6-4 Thursday morning.
The Wildcat had defeated three players with world rankings, two in straight sets, before taking on Rolle who sits at No. 288.
“The fact that Megan has done so well in the tournament is a testament to her capability of playing good tennis,” University of Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada said. “She has had some good results here. The main thing is that she has been able to stay calm while playing and execute her game. She usually does best when she’s aggressive on the court. In this match it would have been great for her to do the same thing she’s done all week but the competition here is really tough, even more so in the main draw. The girl she played was a strong competitor, highly experienced and had really good strength in her shots.”
Broderick hit the first serve of the match, just as she had every other match she played this week. She also won the first game. Rolle managed to bounce back quickly from going down early in the first set and won the next six games.
It wasn’t the first time Broderick suffered a major setback in the first set. She had also fallen behind 6-0 in the first against Julia Cohen in the second round of the qualifier. Broderick went on to defeat Cohen in the next two sets.
Drada attributes Broderick’s drastic improvement in play to rest. “Megan is definitely more aggressive and has had a chance to rest. She’s more relaxed playing in the summer and has done a much better job.”
The second set against Rolle looked promising for Broderick. After acing Rolle on serve to knot the score at two-all, the pair stayed on serve for the next six games. Rolle went through four game-points before going up 5-4. The professional then closed out the match at 6-4.
Broderick referred to her performance last season as a “sophomore slump”, but Drada knows she still has the potential to be a great player during her last two years at UK.
“A lot of it comes from time, just knowing that you can do it and believing in yourself,” Drada said. “After you play a few tournaments you realize that you are right there with the best of players.”
Drada believes that Broderick’s experience in tournaments during the summer can only help. “I can only hope that she will gain the confidence to realize she can play against anybody.”
Broderick remains in the tournament with teammate Caroline Lilley in doubles. After knocking off the No. 1 seed on Tuesday, the Kentucky duo looks towards great competition in the second round of main draw doubles Friday.
Friday’s schedule of matches will be release later today, please visit www.lexingtonchallenger.com for complete details on match times.