Edmund reaches first ATP semi-final of 2017 with win over Sock

 

By Jake Davies

  • Kyle Edmund [5] defeats Jack Sock [1] 6-4 6-1
  • Kyle Edmund [5] vs Ryan Harrison [4]
ATLANTA, USA – Kyle Edmund keeps his confident streak going, after ousting top seed Jack Sock to face another home crowd favourite, Ryan Harrison.

 

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Kyle Edmund [5] def. Jack Sock [1] 6-4, 6-1

In a match that had no shortage of delays or drama, Kyle Edmund eventually prevailed with an impressive and solid straight-sets win over the No.1 seed Jack Sock. Edmund was the considerable underdog in this one. He had not been winning matches of any kind and was in dire need of some kind of form coming into the US Open and he has managed to get just that in Atlanta this week.

The match played out as many anticipated. The first player to get the initial forehand strike went on to win the majority of the points. Sock started off with the slender lead, but a stoppage in play at *4-3 in the first set, actually halted any momentum that Sock had gathered. During that pause in proceedings Edmund took a brief medical time out, but responded beautifully. The American would go on to lose three games in a row to hand over the first set to Edmund, and he never really recovered from that point onwards.

Edmund sent down his fourth ace to seal the win with the loss of just five games. The three main parts of Edmund’s game that stood out in this match was the security of the first serve, the commanding form of the forehand, but most importantly how much his backhand held up in a very important match.

I think Edmund can really improve his backhand return, which sticks out like a sore thumb in the more crucial matches, but that backhand side was less of an issue for Edmund in comparison to his opponent’s troubles with his own weaker shot.

Ultimately, his chosen weapon of the forehand was pivotal to his win. Sock was not only beaten for pace, but he was left stranded by the accuracy and depth of the forehand shot that Edmund had consistently found with regularity and clarity.

 

Kyle Edmund [5] vs Ryan Harrison [4] H2H: First meeting

For quite some time Ryan Harrison had become the ‘forgotten man’ of men’s professional tennis. Too much happened too fast for the American, who excelled from a young age and promised a lot, but it never really materialised. 2017 has been a much improved season for Harrison, who claimed his first ever ATP title in  Memphis earlier this year.

Harrison’s strengths are the potency of the serve and the forehand shot. In many ways Harrison is a throwback to the 1990’s in regards to his tennis. The question remains as to whether Harrison’s one-dimensional game can take him to an even higher level even with a much weaker backhand. We’ve witnessed an improving Harrison, now we are eagerly holding on for a consistent Harrison.

Edmund has a real chance of winning this match-up. I think if the Briton manages to play anywhere near the level that he displayed against Sock then that would put him in a great position to advance to a first ATP final.

Prediction: Edmund in straight sets

Main Image Credit: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

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