By Jake Davies
- The 2018 R0me Masters tennis event begins with Edmund the sole British representative in the Men’s draw.
- Kyle Edmund defeats Malek Jaziri 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
ROME, ITALY – Kyle Edmund advanced to the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia but not without a fight, to face Lucas Pouille next.
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Kyle Edmund defeats Malek Jaziri 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
The clay court season moves along to the next stop in Rome for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia tennis tournament and it is a very big week for the British No.1 Kyle Edmund. It could be a big week if he can back up that sensational quarter-final run at the Madrid Masters last week and to get in to the Top-10.
Edmund won a lot of his matches in Madrid through dominating forehand exchanges, but the conditions on a chilly, damp night in Rome really made the whole first round contest a difficult one for the Brit.
Edmund was the player to secure the first break of serve in an error-strewn, scrappy match, which was just enough to take the first set. Edmund, who is playing at a career high of No.19, threw in a combination of unforced errors off the forehand side and was really struggling to time the ball as he dropped the 2nd set to Malek Jaziri, but he improved in the third set to seal the win over a streaky Jaziri.
Edmund made just nine winners off his usually lethal forehand side and committed 26 unforced errors on that wing, which indicates that not only was he struggling to adapt to the change in conditions, but it also shows how hard it was for Edmund to strike through the court and win the points outright. Not every match will be played in the cool conditions at night, so the key for Edmund was to win ugly, but make sure he found a way to win in his bread-and-butter matches.
What we should be seeing from Edmund in the next couple of weeks leading into Roland Garros is the benefit of not only competing in the big matches against the likes of Novak Djokovic and David Goffin in recent weeks, but securing the wins in those matches. The big match experience will do him a world of good and help Edmund improve and we are starting to see just that.
Kyle Edmund vs Lucas Pouille H2H: Pouille leads 2-1
Edmund now moves onto a second round clash against familiar rival Lucas Pouille. The Frenchman has been on a bit of a slump of late after a promising start to the season, making final in Marseille and Dubai and winning the title in Montpellier. Pouille is very much in a similar situation to Edmund. Both are similar in age and similar in ranking and will be hoping to either consolidate their positions inside the World’s Top 20 or perhaps look beyond that and steal a place in the Top 10 in the world. The confidence that Edmund has acquired over the last couple of months on the clay will definitely play a factor in this match-up.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets
Edmund and Pouille are scheduled on the Next Gen Arena, not before 7pm (6pm BST).
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