By Jake Davies

  • Kyle Edmund defeats Ernesto Escobedo 7-6 (4) 7-6 in Brisbane first round
  • The British No.2 plays Lucas Pouille in the second round on Wednesday
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – British No. 2 Kyle Edmund earns a crack at the next big hope for French Tennis, Lucas Pouille.

 

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Kyle Edmund defeats Ernesto Escobedo 7-6 (4) 7-6 (6)

Kyle Edmund opened his 2017 season with a valuable win as he came through Ernesto Escobedo in two tiebreak sets. His American opponent held a set point in the second set, but the improving Edmund showed even more promise en route to a straight sets victory.

Edmund, now the British No.2 player, finished the 2016 season inside the World’s Top 50 and has experienced a dramatic rise up the rankings, which many attribute to his performances at Davis Cup level for Great Britain. Those experiences definitely helped, but Edmund has also had the benefit of his first year of playing ATP events consistently and now winning at majors.

The next challenge for Edmund is Lucas Pouille. The Frenchman, who is sitting at No.15 in the ATP rankings, made his first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon last year and then backed that result up with another at the US Open. Pouille has beaten some good players along the way – 10 Top 20 players in his best season on the ATP circuit, including a fantastic career win over Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows.

This encounter could be a match up we see a lot more of in the years to come. With Edmund, a lot has been expected of him since his successful days as a junior making his way on the tour. Meanwhile Pouille has the pressure of being tipped to be the next special talent from France, a great tennis nation with great traditions that are waiting impatiently for another Grand Slam winner in singles.

Pouille goes into this match as the favourite. He can be very hard to live with when he is playing with freedom and confidence on the tennis court. He also is dangerous off both wings, while Edmund relies heavily on getting his forehand into play as much as possible. At the highest level of the sport, any minor flaw or weakness gets highlighted with forensic scrutiny and I think Pouille might just expose the Edmund backhand in this second round match up.

Prediction: Pouille in two sets

 

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