By Jake Davies
- Kyle Edmund defeats Lucas Pouille  6-2 7-6
- Kyle Edmund vs Alexander Zverev 
ROME, ITALY – Kyle Edmund continues his great clay court form with a straight sets win over Lucas Pouille, to face defending champion Alexander Zverev next.
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Kyle Edmund defeats Lucas Pouille  6-2 7-6
Kyle Edmund continued his dominant run during the clay court season as he beat the No.16 seed Lucas Pouille in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia tournament in Rome. Edmund had outlasted Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri in the previous round, where he was not truly feeling comfortable with the change of conditions, but he certainly reacted perfectly with today’s performance.
Edmund was much the better player for large portions of the first set as he bludgeoned Pouille with his fearsome forehand and did a fantastic job of really spreading the court, keeping Pouille on the move point after point. The Frenchman grew very frustrated as he constantly found himself on the defence chasing down the high quality forehands from the Brit in the first set, where Edmund dropped just the two games in taking the set.
Pouille is capable of playing at a Top 20-standard and has some impressive scalps to his name in his rise to the Top 20 and he showed all of his qualities in the second set to really give the in-form British No.1 something to think about. The second set was mostly very high quality, but you always had a slight feeling that the recent big-match wins and the 2018 form of Edmund would help him along the way when the match got very tight.
Edmund opened up a bit of a lead in the second set tiebreak and never looked back as he claimed yet another impressive victory during what looks to be a very successful clay court swing.
Kyle Edmund vs Alexander Zverev  H2H: Zverev leads 2-0
Waiting in the wings in the third round is another player, who is arguably in even better form than Edmund – Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
Zverev has created quite the reputation for himself in recent weeks, winning ten matches in a row, defending his title in Munich and claimed the title in the Madrid Masters last week. The most impressive part of that run, where he beat Dominic Thiem in the final, was that he did not surrender one break of his serve in the whole of that Madrid tournament and faced just the one break point against Leonardo Mayer.
The Rome defending champion goes in as favourite against Edmund, because of the success he has had at this event this time last year and because of the calibre of opponent that he is, but Edmund will love the challenge of adding another big name to his list of victims.
The key for Edmund is to do what he does best and back himself that his game will outlast Zverev’s, because we know Edmund is one of the most threatening challenges on a clay court at present and he should give the German a real test in his second match this week.
Prediction: Zverev in three sets
Edmund & Zverev are scheduled on Court Pietrangeli, not before 3:30pm (2:30pm BST).
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