At just 26 years old, Liam Broady already feels that his retirement is near. “I’m already feeling a ticking time clock, which isn’t a nice feeling,” he says. “I suppose, really, I only have seven to 10 years left to achieve what I want.
I’ve probably only got a couple of years left to start making moves. Every tournament I go to, I’m wanting to do something, because I believe I can get to the top of my sport”. But what makes things go downhill is Broady is self-critic.
“The difficult thing for me is that when I lose, it directly affects my self-worth. Just because I’m losing a tennis match, it doesn’t make me a bad person. But that’s how it felt to me”. He further added, “You’re thinking: Why is this happening? Do I deserve it?” he says.
“And you’re doing all the things right, but it’s still not going right. That was probably the most toxic thing, just trying to continue working through it. The best thing would’ve been to have rested and come back refreshed”.
And with not many people to share his thoughts with, he tends to get into his own head. “You have a lot of time to yourself, a lot of time in your hotel room on your own, and obviously when you are in a place with a completely different time zone you can’t really speak to anyone on the phone either”.
“You’re eating at the hotel, you’re sleeping at the hotel. The only time you ever leave the building is to go and practise, which sometimes is only an hour, maybe two or three hours a day”. Broady says he’s friendly with most of the other players on tour, but he’s cautious about talking with them too much about his state of mind.
Though friendly with more of the others players on the ATP tour, he is still cautious about talking with them much about his state of mind. “You never really want to show people that you’re struggling with your game or that there’s stuff going on, because often there’s locker room chat,” he says. “It can be used against you”.