Edmund reaches round of 16
Originally published on 19/01/18 00:00
This is the first time that the British No. 2 has made it this far in Melbourne.
A cool change was forecast for Melbourne on Friday afternoon, but that was no relief for Kyle Edmund and his Georgian opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili who played for 3 hours and 34 minutes on Show Court 2.
In temperatures forecast to reach 41 degrees, along with a warm wind conditions were testing for both players.
“This one today was very tough” Edmund said. “You know, probably hottest conditions I played in for that sort of period of time.”
Edmund got off to an inauspicious start, broken in the first game and then called for the trainer after the third game to receive treatment to his upper right back.
“My back was just a bit tight," he said, “I wanted some hot cream on it.”
Edmund broke back in the fourth game of the set and then with some solid serving won the tiebreak to love, helped by Basilashvili’s errors.
But it was Edmund who made 16 unforced errors in the second set. He was broken twice, in the sixth and the eighth games and Basilashvili took the set with his third set point when Edmund hit a forehand beyond the baseline.
In the third set, Edmund was broken in the first game and despite having four breakpoints in the fourth game he failed to take them. Basilashvili served for set, which he took in 28 minutes 6-4
“The game went away from me.” Edmund said “I lost my way a bit, and he obviously got confidence from it.”
Edmund served first in the fourth set and having held serve then had 8 break points in the second game which last a second under 20 minutes. With Basilashvili having served for a game, which lasted the same number of minutes as the rest of the set, it was perhaps unsurprising that Edmund went onto win the set 6-0.
“Probably the longest game in my career, to be honest. It felt like 15, 20 minutes”
“That game actually worked out to be a very key game, because that game was a set from him, you know. The way he played, dictated, wanted to go to a fifth. It was a key game to get through, and very long game. And then for me, from then on, the end of that fourth and the fifth, it was just really — just, yeah. Trying to get through, basically. Physically it was getting tough out there”
In the deciding set Edmund saved break points on his serve at 4-4. When Basilashvili was serving at 5-6 Edmund got the decisive break to take the match when Basilashvili’s 17th double fault brought up match point. The Georgian’s backhand error allowed Edmund to take his place in the round of 16 where he will play either Andreas Seppi or Ivo Karlovic.
“I think the fact that I was down like that and came through a lot of tough moments in the match, is really good for me. You know, I showed good character to come through that.”
Edmund builds on his five set win in the first round here against Kevin Anderson. The win today is only his second five set match win since defeating Stephane Robert in the first round at 2015 Roland Garros.
“Best-of-five sets in that kind of heat, really good for my career and my confidence going forward, for sure.”