By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Kyle edmund coasted past Denis Istomin in straight sets 6-2 6-2 6-4
  • Faces Nikoloz Basilashvili in a section of the draw with no seeds left
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Kyle Edmund is showing more and more signs of being ready for the mantle of the Great British hope as he eased past Denis Istomin into the third round of the Australian Open for the first time.

 

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Kyle Edmund def. Denis Istomin 6-2 6-2 6-4

British hopes continued to rise as Kyle Edmund coasted past Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. Edmund was in dominant form from the start breaking Istomin in the first game, and not squandering his second chance to break at the end of the first set.

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Edmund broke him again in the opening game of the second set, after a lengthy medical timeout break for Istomin. It did not disrupt any sense of rhythm from the Brit who broke Istomin at exactly the same stage again in the second set. For a little variety, Edmund broke Istomin once more, this time in the third game of the set and Istomin had a flurry of resistance, staving off three break points, but Edmund finished the job a couple of games later to love.

“Got good confidence from the match against Anderson. The level, physically in
terms of on court, how I felt. I knew going into this match physically I was good, the way I’m hitting the ball. You know, if he was going to beat me today, I knew I was going to put up a good fight.

“Today was good. I held my concentration well. Just managed my game well, as well, regardless of what was going down his end. I was just really pleased, especially with the heat today, to get on and off is good.”

 

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Edmund v Nikoloz Basilashvili | H2H: Edmund leads 1-0

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We could be in for another slug fest on the third round, when Edmund will look to get another Slam victory over the Georgian. They met two years ago at Roland Garros on a surface that maybe better suits the Brit, as he advanced in four sets.

Edmund will need to hone the same kind of sklls he employed against Kevin Anderson in his first round victory – getting on the end of returns and taking those chances when they come. Basilashvili has a tendency to favour his forehand – to be fair it is the better weapon in Edmund’s armoury too but if he can concentrate his fire power to the backhand, he can break that down.

Edmund’s section of that quarter is completely devoid of seeds, so the opportunity is there to make the bets of a run here. And Edmund had a fairly good idea of what would be required to get the job done in the next round.

“He’s obviously a very aggressive player. I played him in Paris a couple years ago. Takes swings at the ball. He has errors, but he has lots of winners. He’s just a very aggressive player, very good ball-striker.”

With his current form, Edmund ought to be able to give himself a real passing chance to aim for a first Slam quarter-final.

Prediction: Edmund in four sets.

 

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