By Jake Davies

  • Alexander Zverev [2] defeats Kyle Edmund 7-5 7-6 (11)
ROME, ITALY – British No.1 Kyle Edmund saved a total of seven match points before succumbing to the No.2 seed and Rome defending champion Alexander Zverev in an drama-filled contest in Rome.

 

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Alexander Zverev [2] defeats Kyle Edmund 7-5 7-6 (11)

The match was mostly a very gripping one. The real talking points going into the match was whether Kyle Edmund could raise the bar high enough to score another impressive victory against a Top 10 player and whether Alexander Zverev simply had the legs to get through an 11th win in 15 days after picking up the titles in Munich and Madrid.

The German No.1 was the first player to make that breakthrough in the opening set as he took an important break of serve in the opening game of the match. Edmund put up a respectable fight to salvage the break back in the tenth game of the set, but it was the 21-year-old Zverev who reasserted his control of proceedings to break again before serving the set out comfortably.

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British hopes were dampened at the beginning of the 2nd set when Zverev claimed another break advantage, but Edmund did not go away quietly and reacted with a combination of aggressive forehands to get the set back on parity.  The match was incredibly tense as both players prepared for a second set tiebreak, which turned out to be a bit of a classic. The decision-making under pressure was not necessarily of the highest quality, but you could sense the intent of both players and how Edmund really wanted to make a real fight and potentially take the match into a third set, where anything could happen.

It took the German eight match points to finally seal the win as Edmund misfired on an overambitious forehand, which missed its mark and Zverev stretched his winning streak to eleven matches and has now won twenty two straight sets in a row.

Another decent week for the newly-crowned British No.1, who took out two big names in Madrid last week and now challenged one of the in-form players on the tour, so Edmund can learn a lot from a week like this. He is hitting his backhand as well as ever, but the most important thing is that he is believing that he is doing the right things on the court, which bodes well for the remainder of the clay court season and for the rest of the calendar year.

 

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