By Ros Satar

  • Kyle Edmund [8] v Diego Schwartzman
  • H2H: 1-1 (inc. Challenger level)
  • John Isner [4] def. Cameron Norrie [LL] 6-7(1), 6-4 7-6(7)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Kyle Edmund will have to come back down to earth quickly after his emotional title win in Antwerp as he faces Diego Schwartzman in his Erste Bank Open first round.

 

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Kyle Edmund [8] v Diego Schwartzman | H2H: 1-1

It is a quick turnaround for British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, after an outpouring of emotion when he won his maiden title in Antwerp, and he will need to focus immediately against Diego Schwartzman, who made it to the Antwerp semi-final. The diminutive Argentine had a pretty short-lived Asian swing – two opening round exits in two tournaments but looked to be in more impressive form in Antwerp.

READ MORE | ATP Antwerp 2018 | Kyle Edmund ‘digs deep’ to claim emotional first ATP World Tour Title

ATP Antwerp 2018 | Kyle Edmund ‘digs deep’ to claim emotional first ATP World Tour Title

Edmund will have had some good practice in his final against Gael Monfils when he comes to face Diego Schwartzman. While the Argentine lacks the height and variety that Monfils brings to the court, he can return well, so wile Edmund can maybe expect a handful of free points on his serve, he can by no means rely on them.

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The Brit of course relies on his serve and forehand one-two punch combination to do the most damage, but we have seen that the hours working on his backhand and indeed coming forward to the net is adding elements to his game that is vital, if he wants to stay at this level.

There is absolutely no reason why he cannot stay at this level if he continues to add to his game, but what will be key is how he handles the emotions and more importantly what his energy levels are like at what has already been a long run into the end of the year.

After a very disappointing first round loss at the US Open, he seemed to have a lot of fun in the Laver Cup and had a very successful Asian swing reaching the semi-final in Beijing and the quarter-final of the Shanghai Masters. It was clear just how much his win in Antwerp meant to him, but he still has this tournament and the Paris Masters to go.

On paper this should be his for the taking but it was Schwartzman who had the upper hand earlier in the season in Toronto, for the gain of just three games from Schwartzman. It came at a time when Edmund was struggling to get any kind of form on the US hard courts, but this should be a far more even match.

Prediction: Edmund in three sets.

 

John Isner [4] def. Cameron Norrie [LL] 6-7(1), 6-4 7-6(7)

Cameron Norrie in the first round of the US Open, New York 2018

Cameron Norrie in the first round of the US Open, New York 2018 | (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

There was heartbreak, however, for the British No. 2 Cameron Norrie. The Brit, who had beaten No. 4 seed John Isner before, came into the main draw as a lucky loser, and it looked like it was a fortuitous advance as Norrie stayed toe-to-toe with the big serving American.

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In a tightly contested first set, Isner brought up (and failed to convert) the only break point in the set. The tie-break, however, was all Norrie as he took three mini-breaks against Isner, losing just one on his own serve before running away with it to take the first set.

The second set was just as tight, with Isner taking a second crack at breaking the Brit and this time succeeding before wrapping up the leveller. Norrit might rue his first missed chance to go up a break early in the third set, and had to deflect a couple of break points himself towards the end of the disaster. However it is the two missed match points in the tie-break that will probably haunt him, as Isner broke on the first match point, and although Norrie brought up a second, Isner held on to his next two serves for his first match-point, breaking Norrie for the match.

Edmund & Schwartzman are scheduled on the Next Gen Court, not before 2:30pm (1:30pm BST).

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