LIAM BROADY has adopted the Jack Grealish look for Wimbledon.
But Broady says “mercurial” Jack Draper is the “Phil Foden” of the Brit-pack seeking to keep tearing up the SW19 lawns today.
Draper and fellow Wimbledon rookie Alastair Gray were schoolmates a stone’s throw from Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
But they grew up dreaming of clearing rather than hitting the net.
And Manchester City fan Broady, who joins them in second round action today, said the LTA decision to follow Pep Guardiola’s example and throw talented youngsters in at the deep end is paying off.
Stockport left-hander Broady pointed to his sideburns and barnet as he suggested his first round victory celebrations were “a little bit of the Jack Grealish, I guess – just having a bit of fun”.
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But the serious business of building a new generation of tennis talent has not been lost on the 28-year-old, who said: “The culture at the LTA has changed for me.
“Practice involves everybody, so I’ll have humdingers against Paul Jubb and Andy Murray and Jack Draper will have great practices.
“It's kind of like Pep Guardiola at Man City with the youth system.
“The young players have to be good enough to get those opportunities – it's not like one of those top guys will hit with a 14-year-old who can hardly keep the ball in.”
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Asked who might be the “Foden” of the group, Broady smiled: “I've got a wonder of a left peg – but I’m not that young.
“Right now it's got to be Drapes, right, Jack. He's doing excellently.
“The way he's come on over the last year, he was one that you would have said is a bit of a mercurial talent.”
Broady faces a second round revenge mission today against 12th seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who beat him at the same stage last year.
And ex-schoolmates Draper and Gray are also in action seeking their second Grand Slam wins.
Draper faces 19th seeded Aussie Alex de Minaur, with Gray up against Taylor Fritz of the US, the No11 seed.
Gray recalled his first days with Draper after sharing a class with his elder brother.
He said: I’ve known Jack since I was 11 or 12, when we were both at Parkside in Cobham, literally right next to the Chelsea training ground.
“One of my friends, Cameron McGeehan, trained there all the time.
“We would go and watch his practices sometimes, which was cool but I like tennis a lot. I know I’m biased but I think it's the best sport personally.
“I'm the same age as Jack's brother, Ben. When I was 11 and he would have been eight or something, there was actually quite a big difference.
“So while I knew him, it wasn’t until later on that we became friends.
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“But Jack has always had massive potential, from a young age and now he is doing amazing.
“Jack was better earlier while I’ve started to progress a little bit later. I've always wanted to do it. It's always been in my mind, I've always had the belief that I can do it.”
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