By Jake Davies
- The 250 level event in Delray Beach kicks off on Monday
- Kyle Edmund vs Adrian Mannarino in the Delray Beach first round
- Edmund’s first taste of competitive action since Davis Cup in Ottawa
DELRAY BEACH, USA – British No. 3 Kyle Edmund hits the US this week as he makes his debut in the Florida tournament.
British No.3 player Kyle Edmund makes his return to a tennis court in Delray Beach this week, where he is the eighth seed of the 250 level event and starts off his tournament against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the first round. It is his first outing since the controversial ending to his Davis Cup fifth rubber match against Denis Shapovalov in Ottawa, where the Canadian struck the chair umpire with a tennis ball. Edmund would go on to win that match by default although he was leading by two sets and a break in the third set.
Kyle Edmund  vs Adrian Mannarino H2H: Mannarino leads 1-0
Mannarino will be a very difficult opponent for Edmund at the opening stage of the tournament. The 28-year-old Frenchman has already won two Challenger tournaments this season but has failed to find his mark on the ATP tour, finding most of his success on the Challenger circuit in 2016 also.
The difficulty of playing someone with the natural ability of Mannarino is the unpredictability of his shots and his temperament on the court. It really is hard to understand how The Frenchman truly is feeling about his game when on the court as he is an extremely volatile player. His strength is he is an all-court player. Over the course of his career he has posted good results and made finals on a hard court twice at ATP level and also managed to salvage a clay court title at Challenger level.
Mannarino has exceptional talent at the net and cites his volleying as his favourite weapon on the tennis court, which backs up why his best grand slam performance to date was at the 2013 Wimbledon, where he made the fourth round.
The Frenchman actually beat Edmund in the first round of Wimbledon in straight sets last year, where Mannarino felt the benefits of playing on a slick, fast court, while Edmund prefers time behind the ball in order to fully prepare for his lethal forehand strike.
The pace of the Delray Beach courts will really determine who takes the victory in this match. A faster court will hand Mannarino the initiative and allow him to make the most of his left-handed serve out wide, while a slower hard court would help the Brit out enormously.
It is a debut at Delray Beach for Edmund and I think he will find it hard to adjust to the new environment and the new conditions of the tournament. Mannarino has previously made the quarter-final last year and the semi-final in 2015 and I feel he will come out on top over the British No.3 in this match-up.
Prediction: Mannarino in three sets
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