Edmund expects tough challenge against Monfils in Wimbledon second round

 

By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Kyle Edmund def. Alexander Ward [Q] 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1
  • Faces No. 15 seed Gael Monfils next
LONDON, UK – Kyle Edmund got his first Wimbledon win against British qualifier Alexander Ward, but faces Eastbourne finalist Gael Monfils next.

 

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Kyle Edmund def. Alexander Ward [Q] 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1

After a bumper day on the opening day of British victories, British No. 2 Kyle Edmund was the one expected to come through the second day of action at Wimbledon., facing compatriot and match-sharp qualifier Alexander Ward.

Things were not going all his own way with an immediate break by Ward at the start of the match, keeping that advantage all the way through. From that point though, experience and maybe perhaps an element of fatigue for Ward set in, with Edmund’s performance getting more and more efficient as the match wore on.

He explained: “I lost my opening game. Happens in tennis. Best-of-five set match, so losing your serve doesn’t mean you’re going to lose a match. It’s a long match, long momentum swings as well.

“I just tried to use the experience I have, stay calm. I wasn’t obviously playing my best at the start. Once I sort of got in the match and played my best, then you can see what chances you have. I was just pleased I was able to turn it and just really keep the momentum till the end.”

 

Edmund v Gael Monfils [15] | First Meeting

The key question is will the Aegon International runner-up Gael Monfils have recovered fully from a knee niggle that at times rendered him hobbling on the slick courts of Eastbourne. Monfils, never one for not throwing himself about the place, suffered a couple of slips after the inclement weather put a dent in the proceedings, finishing as the runner-up to Novak Djokovic.

This will be their first meeting, and Edmund is well aware of the challenges he will face with one of the most flamboyant players on the tour. His almost laid-back approach to his shots belies a swift pace, and his athleticism will make life difficult for the young Brit.

Edmund said: “I watched him a little bit when he played Novak on the grass. Just from knowing him throughout the years, he’s obviously a very good athlete, moves well, makes a lot of balls. He has very, very easy power when he wants to hit it. Sometimes I think he likes to put more balls in play, maybe use his movement to win points.

“But it will be tough. He’s obviously made the final last week, playing well. He’s got good confidence. Yeah, just go out there and play really. I mean, whoever it is, I’ll just go and play.”

Monfils will use that placement and consistency to move Edmund about – he has long since improved his fitness and his stamina from his early Slam appearances where he often a lack of conditioning would start to show. Monfils has a tendency to hit lethargic looking shots before ripping back a shot with pace, and his high-risk shot-making makes him one of the most entertaining players to watch, when his game is on.

Edmund’s own aggressive game style will see him trying to club Monfils into submission with his serve and forehand combo, but he will need to be on the move to the net and sharp. He could well take a set of the Frenchman, but the win is unlikely.

Prediction: Monfils in four sets.

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