By Jake Davies
- Three British men were in action in the first round of the Miami Open
- Jared Donaldson beat Kyle Edmund 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2
- Qualifier Ernesto Escobedo beat Britain’s Dan Evans 7-5 0-6 6-3
- Irving champion Aljaz Bedene forced to retire against Jan-Lennard Struff in his Miami Open opener
MIAMI, USA – It was a clean sweep of opening round losses for the three British men in the main draw, as Kyle Edmund rounded out a day in which Dan Evans and Aljaz Bedene also fell at the Miami Open.
Jared Donaldson defeats Kyle Edmund 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-2
Kyle Edmund suffered another disappointing defeat this time to America’s Jared Donaldson in the first round of the Miami Open. It is fair to say that many people are aware of the talent that 20-year-old Donaldson possesses, but Edmund will definitely look back on this week and think: ‘How did I lose that one?’
Donaldson is still figuring out what sort of player he wants to be, what his ceiling is in terms of ranking and just how bright his future really is, whereas Edmund has gone through those stages and is slightly more headstrong now in comparison to his opponent, which is why this is a disappointing loss to take for the Brit.
The British No.3 led 6-2 *5-3 and had three match points in the following game before losing the set in the tiebreak. Ultimately, Edmund leaving a small window of opportunity to Donaldson actually gave him the belief and confidence to make one of the more unlikeliest of comebacks you will see on the ATP tour this season.
Edmund’s clarity of thought became foggy. His usually penetrating and lethal forehand completely faded in the deciding set, which led to the Brit losing the match (un)comfortably in the third set.
Indian Wells and Miami are scheduled over three weeks and can have brutal consequences for players like Edmund and other British players that have faltered early in both tournaments. Edmund will feel like he has barely had the chance to gain any momentum and any feel for the racquet with two early exits in both Indian Wells and Miami. Now Edmund will have a long wait for the beginning of the clay season, where he will be chomping at the bit for a reaction and a change in results as he gets started on a surface he usually does very well on.
Ernesto Escobedo defeats Dan Evans 7-5 0-6 6-3
Evans took an early break lead in the opening set, but his response to the heat coming from the other side of the court, especially when Escobedo delivered bludgeoning forehand after forehand, was disappointing to say the least.
Inside the last twelve months, Evans has built a great reputation for himself with the results he has attained on the match court, the names he has beaten, but more importantly the application he has presented both on and off the court. So this loss will be seen as a considerable setback considering he is a Top 50 player now, so a lot more is expecting from the man from Birmingham.
One of the things that would have disappointed coach Mark Hilton, was that Evans’ shoulders slumped considerable after going down a break in the third set. He almost completely gave away any hope in salvaging the break back and turning the match around, which allowed Escobedo to dictate with his huge forehand.
Jan-Lennard Struff defeats Aljaz Bedene 7-5 4-0 ret
This is one of the British results that did not really shock on the day. Jan-Lennard Struff is capable of playing some very good tennis on his day, but it looks like the amount of matches over the past two weeks finally caught up on Aljaz Bedene. En route to his Challenger title win in Irving, Bedene played a lot of tight, gruelling matches against the likes of Andrey Rublev, Donaldson and Mikhail Kukushkin.
Bedene then had to quickly travel to Miami to prepare for the Qualifying draw, where he came through two rounds before succumbing to Struff in the first round of the main draw today. It was a tough turnaround for the Brit, but probably inevitable after winning so many matches in the Irving Challenger, an event that he has made the final of in the last 3 years.
It is a dismal-looking day of results from a British perspective as Heather Watson also fell in the first round of the main draw and now Johanna Konta is the final British representative remaining at the Miami Open.
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