As 20th birthday presents go, a place in the Australian Open is not bad going.
Kyle Edmund has long been regarded as the man who will carry the nation’s hopes when Andy Murray’s career comes to an end. Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski and Murray have all worked with the tall right-hander from Humberside and praised his ball-striking and temperament.
Doggedness and staying power were also required as Edmund completed his three-match route through the qualifying rounds of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time to beat the Australian Dalle Propoggia 6-7 6-4 9-7. Britain has three players in the men’s singles draw of the Australian Open for the first time since 2002 when Henman, Rusedski and Martin Lee flew the flag.
Although Edmund’s serve troubled his opponent, there was a lack of rhythm to his groundstrokes. In the end, 15 aces and superior fitness were decisive.
Edmund said: ‘I didn’t play 10 out of 10 tennis but it was 10 out of 10 for competitiveness and my serve got me out of trouble. I didn’t produce my best but it was good enough to win.’
He now plays Steve Johnson, the 39th seed.
Another Briton, Liam Broady, found the experience of Michael Russell, a 35 year-old American, too much. The 21 year-old from Stockport lost 7-5,6-3.
(Source: Sunday Times, 18 Jan 2015)