By Jake Davies
- Steven Diez [WC] defeats Kyle Edmund 3-6 6-3 6-2
- Edmund suffers a Davis Cup letdown in Canada
- Edmund prepares for his first Olympic Games
TORONTO, CANADA – Kyle Edmund struggled in his first tournament since his Davis Cup heroics in Serbia, falling in three sets to wild-card Steven Diez.
Steven Diez [WC] defeats Kyle Edmund 3-6 6-3 6-2
Kyle Edmund fell victim to one of the biggest shocks of the Canada Masters thus far, as he lost to 25-year-old wild-card Steven Diez in the first round.
The match started off in promising fashion for the Brit. He was firing flamethrower forehand and backhand winners that kept his opponent honest for long periods of the first set. Edmund looked like he was in control of the destination of the match, until the match changed dramatically early in the second set.
The World No.192 Diez, suddenly started to find his rhythm and purposefully attacked the backhand side of Edmund, which eventually contributed to his breakthrough in this match. Diez rushed into a double break lead in the second set, with Edmund surprisingly underwhelming for the next two sets.
The Spaniard-turned-Canadian did not do anything major to claim the second set. He undoubtedly improved the consistency of his baseline game and took advantage of the plethora of unforced errors that was coming from Edmund’s racquet on the other side of the court. Diez took the second set 6-3.
Diez was starting to run down a lot of balls that, in the first set, would have been out of reach. He was beginning to believe that the unlikely was all of a sudden a real possibility. Edmund’s second serve disappeared and allowed Diez to have a huge say in the outcome of a lot of the rallies. The powerful and destructive forehand side of Edmund appeared in portions of the match, but it did not reappear when required in the third set.
The Canadian was ecstatic and emotionally overcome by the moment – realising he had won his first ATP main draw match of his career. It was only the second Top 100 win for Diez and by far the highest ranked opponent he has got the better of.
Edmund will be disappointed with the manner of the defeat in the last two sets and the fact that he did not put up a huge fight or show much resilience in the deciding set. Although, many forget that Edmund still is relatively inexperienced at this level at 21 years of age. The Brit had only previously won one Masters 1000 level match (at Miami 2016 to Jiri Vesely) so this match is another learning experience in his development.
The Olympic Games is the next major destination for Edmund as he prepares for his first Olympics in Rio in two weeks time. Edmund may not get a medal, but just like at any grand slam, he will take some positives from these matches that will eventually make him a better player.
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