Liam Broady was almost forced to miss Wimbledon after hitting his head on a car boot in a bizarre accident.

The British No. 5 spent months sidelined with an ankle injury that left his specialist doctor baffled.

But when he finally got the green light to return to competition, his comeback was derailed when he gave himself a concussion.

"I watched my girlfriend Eden [Silva]'s qualifying match in Surbiton on the Sunday and then drove back to the hotel, dropped her in the hotel and parked in one of those NCP car parks," Broady said ahead of his Eastbourne comeback.

"And the spot I parked in had a low-hanging metal sort of pipe over it, and I had an electric boot so I pressed the button to stop it hitting the bar and sort of stopped it halfway. And a load of tennis balls fell out of my boot, obviously, so I bent over to pick them all up, stood up and just whacked my head off it."

The world No. 148 received playful jibes from the likes of Andy Murray when he announced his latest setback on social media. But in reality, Broady was left fearing the worst when the symptoms stayed with him for two weeks and made him a doubt for Wimbledon. He continued: "I was quite worried, I was starting to be a bit concerned that I wouldn't be ready for Wimbledon.

"It's been a really strange experience because as a tennis player, you never worry about a concussion. And it took about 13 days, 14 days for the symptoms to settle down. And it was very strange, physical activity would increase the symptoms and mental activity - not that there's much mental activity going on! - but any mental activity, if you have to think too hard, you get dizzy, you get nauseous, your eyes go funny, you get migraines. So now I'm just glad to be feeling okay, to be honest."

The concussion was another frustrating setback for Broady, who has been battling an ankle injury since the pre-season. He made things "way worse" after starting the year playing in Hong Kong and took a few weeks out but quickly realised that wasn't enough. But the 30-year-old was forced to wait even longer to learn what the problem was.

"When I came home after I withdrew from Miami, I didn't know what it was. So I wasn't sure if I needed an operation, I wasn't sure if just walking around was making it worse," he explained. "I just knew it was hurt, it was swollen and I didn't know how long I was going to be out for so the worst thing was not knowing.

"I was like, What's happening? Is it bad, is it not? And then it was a long process because there was a bank holiday weekend and then it was Easter-time so the scan results took a while to come back so it took a month to eventually find out what it was." When he did find out, Broady's specialist was surprised by the outcome.

The British No. 5 added: "And then when we did find out what it was, the specialist was like, I've never really seen a fracture like this before. So it was the wrong way, it was horizontal instead of vertical. Stress fractures in your ankle are usually vertical from standing up but mine was horizontal. In the end it was just time that it needed to get better."

Broady is now hoping to make up for lost time after feeling that he had been playing the "best tennis of [his] life" during his injury layoff, even though he had to stand still and hit. "I'm feeling really good, I'm feeling positive. I'm playing better than I ever have and obviously had some good results there so sky's the limit sort of thing for me this year. The main concern is just making sure the body is ready for five sets in a week's time," he said.

2024-06-25T05:03:46Z dg43tfdfdgfd