By Michael Stafford-Jones
- Kyle Edmund defeats John Isner 6-4 3-6 6-2 7-6(5)
- Victory takes him to career-high world ranking of 54
- Next up for Edmund is Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the US Open
NEW YORK, USA – Kyle Edmund stunned America’s John Isner to make the fourth round of the US Open as he sets up a clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Kyle Edmund def. John Isner  6-4 3-6 6-2 7-6(5)
If Edmund was feeling nervous before his US Open third-round match against home favourite Isner – arguably the biggest of his career so far – those feelings did not last long. In the second game, he hit a brilliant forehand that clipped the line and sealed his first hold of the night.
And it really settled the Brit, 21, down as he produced the kind of eye-catching performance we have become used to seeing from him in recent months.
It helped Edmund that Isner played a poor service game to hand him an early break. But the Brit was superb on his own serve throughout the first set and did not even allow the American to get to deuce until the last game as he won it 6-4.
Isner raised his level significantly in the second set and secured a break in the second game with an excellent passing shot. Edmund started to match him as the set went on, showcasing his amazing forehand and ever-improving backhand. However, having broken already, the American only needed to continue holding serve and he did so comfortably to take the set 6-3, serving seven aces along the way.
Isner almost got off to the perfect start in the third set, but Edmund fought back determinedly from 0-40 down in the opening game to hold. And it proved crucial, as all the effort the American had put into trying to break the Brit’s serve led to a tired service game which enabled Edmund to break him with ease. The Brit was soon 5-2 up after three comfortable holds and then broke Isner again to seal the set in just 31 minutes.
Edmund found the American tougher to break down in the fourth set, despite some sumptuous winners from his forehand and a few from his backhand too. Good tennis from both players produced the most keenly-contested set of the match and it was no surprise when it eventually went to a tie-break.
At 3-3, Edmund won one point with a brilliant return then found the lines to force Isner into errors on the next two points and lead 6-3. The second of the American’s errors was an incorrect challenge after he stopped the point halfway through. Isner pulled it back to 6-5 with a winner and a good serve before another stunning forehand winner from the Brit sealed victory. What a win!
Kyle Edmund v Novak Djokovic  – H2H: Djokovic leads 1-0
A mammoth challenge awaits Edmund in round four in the shape of world number one Djokovic. Admittedly, the Serb has not looked like the best player on the planet lately but he will nevertheless go into this match as the heavy favourite to win.
Rustiness could play a part, as Djokovic has only had to play six games to progress through the last two rounds after both Jiri Vesely and Mikhail Youzhny pulled out through injury. However, the Serb’s dodgy wrist, and his forearm discomfort from round one, should not be feeling sore as they have not been properly strained since Monday night.
Edmund, meanwhile, has racked up probably the two biggest wins of his career so far – over Richard Gasquet in round one and Isner in round three – on his way to round four. These wins will give the Yorkshireman plenty of confidence ahead of the Djokovic clash, and he has nothing to lose and everything to gain from the match so he can go out onto court and give it his best shot.
Considering the superb form Edmund has shown so far in this year’s US Open, he has a good chance of winning at least a set against the world number one. However, if Djokovic is anywhere near his best, he should still win pretty comfortably because no-one, except perhaps Murray, can match him from the back of the court when he is playing well. It would take a superhuman effort from Edmund, or a poor performance from the Serb, to produce any result other than a Djokovic win.
Prediction: Djokovic in four sets
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