By Jake Davies
- Kyle Edmund  defeats Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-7 (2), 7-5
- Faces Lajovic next and leads head to head 2-0
BEIJING, CHINA – Kyle Edmund rallied to the quarter-finals of the China Open, with a tough three-sets win over Italian qualifier Matteo Berrettini, and will face Dusan Lajovic.
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Kyle Edmund  defeats Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-7 (2), 7-5
The British No.1 Kyle Edmund was made to work hard for his win as he fought past heavy resistance from the powerful Italian, who was inspired in phases before being edged out at the death towards the end of the third set.
Edmund started off very well and played to his strengths, breaking the Italian’s opening service game with a series of well-timed forehand strikes, but quickly got pegged back immediately by the qualifier. Edmund pulled away at the end of the first set to take the break he desired, but there was a lot of legs left in this match and Edmund acknowledged that.
The second set followed a very different pattern. It was Edmund who was now feeling all kinds of pressure in this encounter, while Berrettini went from strength to strength as he served at a high percentage, dictated the points off of his forehand and really showed why he is one of the form players on tour at present.
After commanding a second set tiebreak, Berrettini looked to be the slight favourite going into the third set, but that was where both players really increased their level off serve and gave very little away in the form of unforced errors from the baseline. The 23-year-old salvaged the only break required in the 11th game of the set and now progresses to a 17th career quarter-final, and an eighth tour-level quarter-final in this breakout season alone.
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Edmund  vs Dusan Lajovic | H2H: Edmund leads 2-0
Edmund now will have a day to recuperate before preparing for a huge quarter-final against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. Lajovic is an exceptionally gifted striker of the ball, who is one of the rare examples of a player that really enjoys running around forehands in order to hit his one-handed backhand, which is one of the strongest on the ATP tour.
He admittedly plays his best tennis on a clay court, because of his preference to really trade from deep behind the baseline, but there are many things that the Serbian can do on a tennis court and he possesses an underrated first serve and powerful groundstrokes that allows him to play decent tennis on the other surfaces, as well.
Edmund and Lajovic have crossed paths before. Many British tennis fans will remember Edmund playing just his second ever Davis Cup tie for Great Britain against Lajovic’s Serbia in 2016, where an under-strength Great Britain team defied the odds and claimed a 3-2 victory, where Edmund really led from the front and gained some of his most invaluable experience as a top player, beating Lajovic along the way.
I think Lajovic will prove to be a tough test for Edmund, but I think that if Edmund plays anywhere near the tennis that he displayed particularly at the beginning of the season then he will have too much for the Serbian and should claim his third victory over his opponent in Beijing.
Prediction: Edmund in straight sets.
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