By Jake Davies
- Kyle Edmund  defeats Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0, 6-2
- Edmund vs Ilya Ivashka
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – British No.1 Kyle Edmund rallied his way to the Antwerp quarter-finals after defeating Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas in a one-sided straight sets win.
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Kyle Edmund  def. Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0, 6-2
The match felt like a very tricky one on paper leading into the match. It felt like a match that Kyle Edmund had everything to lose, while the only way was really up for the lower-ranked Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Edmund dealt with the expectation of playing his first match of the week as the top seed, as one of the tournament’s favourites and adjusting to the new conditions in an indoor setting.
The match really was a contrast of two very different styles. Edmund has won most of his matches on tour with penetration through the court off the forehand side and really tries to overwhelm his opponents with the intent behind his groundstrokes, rising to just outside the World’s Top-10. Ramos Vinolas really plies his trade in a very different way, looking to soak up pressure from behind the baseline and trade for long periods before finding an opening and that is how he has done so well on a clay court over the years.
The difference in terms of the two players confidence was staggering in this match-up and it showed in the early stages. Edmund, coming off a very successful Asian swing, where he made the semi-final in Beijing, and the quarter-final in Shanghai, secured all of the first ten games to go up 6-0, 4-0 and only faced one break point in the entire match. It was always going to be interesting to see how the two opposing styles clashed, but the Spaniard simply offered too much ground from the baseline. He continued to retreat and actually allowed Edmund to have his way with his better shot, and once Edmund gets his opponent running, it is difficult to turn points around and manufacture games on the scoreboard, as Ramos Vinolas found out.
Ramos-Vinolas did gain some respect in the scoreline towards the end, but the damage had already been inflicted and it was the aggressive nature of Edmund’s groundstrokes that prevailed against the more passive, the more reluctant and the player bereft of confidence in Ramos-Vinolas, who has won just 21 matches on tour this season.
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Edmund vs Ilya Ivashka H2H: First meeting
Edmund now moves on to the quarter-final and is showing much more consistency not only to the way he plays during matches, but across the board in terms of his results week-in and week-out. We have seen Edmund slowly grow accustomed to being a promising player to a Top-20 player, but the conclusion of this season and the beginning of the 2019 season will really indicate how Edmund deals with the new kind of pressure of being the player that other players pick their level up for in the heat of the battle.
Next up for Edmund is Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka, who is contesting just his second quarter-final at this level. He gives away a lot in terms of his experience and his general familiarity with playing amongst the best players in the world, but at the same time, those players are sometimes the most dangerous, because they are harder to prepare for and they swing away freely hoping for the best.
Edmund has been in positions at this stage of a tournament where he has struggled to pull through with his first tour-level title, but the Brit will be hoping that the confidence he has built during the Asian season will help him get the monkey off the back and secure that first title.
Prediction: Edmund in straight sets
Diego Schwartzman  def. Cameron Norrie 7-6 (1) 6-7 (3) 7-5
Cameron Norrie fell short in his second round match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, where the match was really decided by fine margins. It was another match where Norrie really put forward a fine effort to keep the contest as close as he did, and at times really tested the resolve of the higher-ranked Schwartzman, but the former World No.11 really displayed his true quality when it counted and showed why he is a two-time finalist at this particular venue.
Edmund & Ivashka are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 8pm (7pm BST).
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