By Ros Satar
- Kyle Edmund  def. Gael Monfils 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4)
- Claims title in his second final of 2018
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – British No. 1 Kyle Edmund claimed his maiden ATP World Tour Title after a nervy three setter with Gael Monfils.
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Kyle Edmund  def. Gael Monfils 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4)
Having made the Marrakech final earlier in the year against Pablo Andujar, who had been making his comeback after battling with injuries, it had been a disappointingly lop-sided affair as Andujar’s experience told, and nerves crippled the Yorkshireman.
Once more he was facing a player with far more experience in finals, as Monfils was chasing an eighth tour title, despite having slipped down the rankings in recent years. At the start it looked like all one-way traffic as Monfils broke early and built up an intimidating 4-1 lead.
Edmund rallied a little towards the end of the set to make Monfils earn it by having to serve it out, and that persistence was rewarded as Edmund himself jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second set.
Monfils was far too wily a character to give up the set that easily, pegging him back and earning a tie-break out of it. Edmund was quick to take a mini-break advantage and with the benefit of another and a 5-1 lead, he went on the nab the second set.
Monfils looked the more threatening in the early exchanges in the decider, and Edmund had his chances to go up a break also go awry as the pair contested a tie-break. The quality in the decider had been incredible – shots that ought to have been easy winners for Edmund were ably retrieved by the flamboyant Frenchman.
It was a more nervy affair this time in the tie-break with Edmund’s early advantage initially pegged back but he persevered to bring up two match points, needing just the one to claim the title.
Edmund broke down in tears as he greeted his coach Fredrik Rosengren who has moulded the young Brit into a player that has begun to believe he belongs at among the top players.
In an emotional on-court interview, he said: “It’s hugely special. You’ll always remember this one. Gael made me work for it today. Credit to him. I’m so happy. It’s not just me who puts in the work, there’s guys behind the scenes. It’s really nice when something you’ve been working for comes together.’
Edmund added: “It’s only my second final. I’ve not been able to string together my matches to win tournaments. There’s always been something to let me down. It’s been one of my goals to be more consistent. Today I had to really dig deep.”
Edmund will next play in Vienna, where he is the eighth seed.
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