Battling Broady shows her resilience but Watson and Williams tumble to defeats

Naomi Broady
Naomi Broady
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British No 3 Naomi Broady got her 2017 season off to the best possible start as she breezed into the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The world No 90 showed her battling spirit to see off her higher-ranked opponent Danka Kovinic 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 and ensure she remains in the top 100.

Broady reached the quarter-final of this event last year but looked up against it early on against the world No 70 as she was broken twice to trail 5-2.

But she found her groove and rattled off four successive games to send the set to a tie-break, where she again wiped out a deficit, winning five successive points to claim it 7-5.

The second set followed a similar patter as an early break for Kovinic saw her take a 3-0 lead but Broady’s response was even better as she won the next six games.

British No 2 Heather Watson suffered defeat to Kristina Mladenovic in the Hopman Cup.

There are no ranking points on offer at the mixed-team international tournament in Perth, where Watson is playing with Dan Evans, but she fell to her second loss of the year 6-4 5-7 6-3.

Top seed Serena Williams was knocked out of the ASB Classic in Auckland in the second round by fellow American Madison Brengle.

World No 2 Williams was beaten 6-4 6-7 (7/3) 6-4 by the 26-year-ol d, who is 70 places below her in the rankings.