ASHLAND, Ky. — The biggest win of Gail Brodsky’s professional career will certainly lighten her workload in the coming weeks.
She arrived in Ashland without a spot in the main draw of the Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic. Brodsky earned her place in the bracket through qualifying and will leave a champion after she defeated Maegan Manasse, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0, in the title match on Court 1 at the Ashland Tennis Center.
It’s been a whirlwind six months for Brodsky after returning to professional tennis at the urging of her husband, she said to the large crowd on hand during the awards ceremony.
Brodsky could not contain her emotions after the winning point when she approached the net to shake hands with her competitor. She said she was still “in shock” after the match.
“I just can’t believe it,” Brodsky said. “The week has been kind of a blur. I definitely got lucky in a few matches. I could have lost in my first-round match. I am so happy I was able to pull through. Maegan is a friend and an amazing competitor. I knew that she would come out fighting, so I knew I had to give it all I had today.”
Brodsky’s victory will put her in the main draw of upcoming tournaments. It was a welcome thought to Brodsky after a grueling yet satisfying week in Ashland. She had to finish her qualifying matches on Tuesday after the main draw had already started.
Brodsky defeated the No. 5 seed the next day in the midst of seven straight wins. It did come with a well-timed break after the No. 2 seed had to withdraw three games into their quarterfinals match with an injury on Friday. She said it was unfortunate for her opponent, but it gave her some much-needed rest.
“I was lucky enough to get a bye in the first round of qualifying,” Brodsky said, “but today was my seventh match of the week. It definitely is a grind. It’s difficult because you have to stay focused so many days in a row. … Physically, I got lucky in the quarterfinals when my opponent withdrew at 2-1. That was one of the days I was physically struggling. It helped me make it through the week.”