By Jake Davies

  • Kyle Edmund [2] defeats Andy Murray [WC] 6-4 6-4
  • Kyle Edmund [2] vs Mikhail Kukushkin
  • Cameron Norrie [WC] defeats Jay Clarke [LL]
  • Cameron Norrie [WC] vs Lukas Lacko
EASTBOURNE, UNITED KINGDOM – Kyle Edmund achieved his first win over Andy Murray as he progressed to the Eastbourne quarter-finals, while Cameron Norrie also won the second battle of the Brits as he defeated Jay Clarke in straight sets.

 

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Kyle Edmund [2] defeats Andy Murray [WC] 6-4, 6-4

Kyle Edmund scored his first win over Andy Murray as he prevailed in a comfortable two sets win. The match felt like a difficult one mentally for Edmund to deal with as he entered the match as the favourite for the very first time. Edmund mostly handled his nerves and the occasion very well as he took a break in the opening game of the match and that really allowed him to gain confidence right away. The solitary break of serve was all that was required to take the first set, but Edmund needed two bites of the cherry to serve the match out in straight sets.

 

Edmund [2] vs Mikhail Kukushkin H2H: First meeting

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Edmund’s next challenge comes in the form of Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. He is a player that can play a dangerous ball off both sides and hits extremely flat, but has put together most of his success because of the unbelievably smooth timing of his backhand side. The forehand can cause players lots of problems, but it is nowhere near as efficient as his other wing. The World No.90 really does play some of his best stuff on the hard court, that is where he has made his three ATP tour level finals, but his game is set up to do well on the grass, as well.

I think that Edmund will just about come through in this encounter. In his previous match against Murray, Edmund demonstrated that when he plays the match on his terms and is able to control the course of the rally with his forehand that he is very hard to contain and forces his opponent to simply react and try to stay in the rally. If Edmund serves as well as he has been then he should find himself dictating for a lot of this match, which will make it a quick afternoon’s work.

Prediction: Edmund in straight sets

 

READ MORE | Nature Valley International | Murray: ‘I want to do myself justice’ – Still to make decision about Wimbledon

Nature Valley International | Murray: ‘I want to do myself justice’ – Still to make decision about Wimbledon

 

Cameron Norrie [WC] defeats Jay Clarke [LL] 6-4, 6-3

Cameron Norrie in the second round of the Nature Valley International, ATP Eastbourne 2018

Cameron Norrie in the second round of the Nature Valley International, ATP Eastbourne 2018 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

Cameron Norrie came through in a straight-sets win over fellow Brit and lucky loser Jay Clarke. Norrie has made quite a name for himself for the way he was able to come out on top in tight situations where he battles away as the considerable underdog. But in this match the pressure was all on Norrie to perform and to beat a player ranked 157 places lower than him the rankings. Norrie spoke highly of Clarke in his post-match press conference and talked about the dynamics of the match-up going into it.

“Jay’s obviously a great player. Young up-and-coming Brit. I felt the pressure was more on me today, I mean, being I’m a higher-ranked player. No, it was a very high-level match from the start. I thought we both played really well, and I was — yeah, played well and closed it out well in the end and just really happy with my performance and happy to get through that one.”

 

Norrie [WC] vs Lukas Lacko H2H: First meeting

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Norrie now goes on to face Slovakian Lukas Lacko for a place in the semi-final of Eastbourne. This serves as a huge opportunity for the Brit. Originally he was slated to play the No.1 seed Diego Schwartzman, but the Argentine fell to Lacko in a tough three sets yesterday. Now Norrie has to deal with an unbelievable chance of getting into a first ATP semi-final in a match that is very winnable for him.

Lacko is mostly a very unpredictable player, whose level can fluctuate incredibly from point to point, but when he starts finding his form and putting some good wins together his forehand can be so good on its day. The problem for the Slovakian has really been his consistency to produce that level over a whole season.

Prediction: Norrie in straight sets

 

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