Time with Bruins put Brady on a winning path

Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Tennis

"You could tell that she hit a different ball than most other players that we've had here and even in college. She hit a very heavy ball, almost plays more like a guy," Sampras Webster said. "You could tell that she had that but she lacked some consistency and maybe, managing her motion.

"You could tell as she was here, and I'm sure she's gained experience on the tour, she's just figured it all out, figured out how to play this game and what she needed to do."

Brady faced a challenge in the first round this week when her match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany was suspended by rain Tuesday. Brady had won the first set but got off to a slow start when play resumed Wednesday, giving up a service break and losing the second set. She recovered to win the third set 6-1 and earn her first victory in the U.S. Open's main draw.

She had a surprisingly easy time Thursday on the Grandstand court. Brady, ranked 91st in the world, sprinted away from a hapless Strycova, who's ranked 25th . "Yeah, I was kind of steamrolling," Brady said.

Sampras Webster said Brady could easily become a top-20 player or better.

"It's really exciting to see her, especially today beating a top 25 player in the world and beating her pretty solidly," Sampras Webster said. "I think that's going to help her confidence and help her for the next matches that she gets to play when she plays these top players, that she can finish those matches and get those wins."

Brady will be an underdog in her next match, against No. 57 Monica Niculescu of Romania, but nothing's certain after upsets took out five of the top eight seeded women's players and seven of the top 16. Brady booked her New York hotel room through Sept. 6, the second day of the women's quarterfinals. But if that means she's confident of going at least that far, she's not saying.

"Ask me that when it's the sixth," she said, smiling.

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