Naomi Broady May Have Lost At Wimbledon. But Her Performance Is Still A Victory For The Bad Girls Of Tennis

Broady’s career was nearly finished after a posting a drunken picture on Bebo, but would the same have happened to a male tennis player?


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Tennis star Naomi Broady hit the headlines today when she was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round by former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in only 59 minutes. But at least the focus was on her tennis.

As the 'bad girl of British tennis' most coverage around her fixates on a drunken picture she posted in 2007 on Bebo (yes seriously, it was that long ago), posing next to a condom machine (even the Telegraph decribed it as 'comparitavely tame'.) The Lawn Tennis Association subsequently withdrew her funding, citing the pictures as evidence of a 'lack of discipline' and 'unprofessional behaviour.'

This week, Broady said the pictures were just the actions of a teenager trying to have some semblance of a normal life. ‘I was trying to live,’ she explained, ‘for a few nights at least, as a normal 17-year-old.’ Her father subsequently withdrew her brother Liam, a junior tennis champion, from the LTA's training programme as well, selling their house to fund the pair's training. But her brother returned to the LTA two years ago, and hasn't spoken to their father since.

And Naomi? Now 163rd in the world, the bad girl moniker has stuck, with little emphasis placed on the quality of her game or her prowess as a sportswoman. Yet Andy Murray has spoken about getting wrecked teenager, and is anyone calling him a bad boy? A miserable git, yes, but we're all much more concerned with the quality of his serve.

But is it really any surprise? We historically love bad boys like McEnroe and Natase in tennis, footballers like Joey Barton remain remarkably bulletproof when they behave like utter pricks – they’re given spots onNewsnight. It’s just further proof that men can get away with one thing in the sporting world, whereas women simply can't.

For her part, Broady says she’s ‘unbothered’ by her on-going dispute with the LTA, but it does make her achievements all the more impressive. She may have lost her game, but it’s definitely a victory for all the so-called ‘bad girls’ in sport.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us