By Niall Clarke
- Aljaz Bedene defeats Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2
- Kyle Edmund loses in straight sets to Malek Jaziri
- James Ward leads by a set against Tim Smyczek- continues tomorrow
Aljaz Bedene wins, Kyle Edmund loses, and James Ward sees his match delayed on a rainy Monday in Nottingham.
The morning downpours meant that Bedene had to wait to step on court against Diego Schwartzman, but when the Slovenian born Brit stepped on to the grass, he wasted no time finding his game.
The 25-year-old, who will be representing Great Britain at Wimbledon for the first time next week, got off to a fast start, breaking his opponent in the second game.
Bedene added another break to his lead before serving out the first set 6-1 after 24 minutes.
Schwartzman, who is ranked 63 in the world, began his fightback by breaking the Brit in the early stages of the second set. Bedene almost found himself a double break down at 4-1, but he managed to save break point at 30-40.
The following game Bedene broke back, and after fighting off set points at 5-4, the set went to a tiebreak.
The Brit came out firing in the breaker, racing to a 5-0 lead. With the match seemingly in his hands, the wheels began to fall off the world number 74. He proceeded to lose the next seven points, and as a result the set.
Tied at one set apiece it was anyone’s match as we headed in to the deciding set. But alas, it was Bedene who struck first in the final set.
The Brit broke in the second game and never looked back. Another break sealed the set 6-2 to Bedene, who will advance to the second round where he will face eighth seed Adrian Mannarino.
Unfortunately, Kyle Edmund would not replicate his compatriots success as the British number three fell in straight sets to Malek Jaziri.
Playing his first match since the French Open, Edmund struggled to really find his feet on the grass. The speed of the ball meant that the 20-year-old could not get the required wind up on his shots.
However, despite his difficulties adjusting to the grass Edmund came within one point of winning the opening set at 6-5, but it was saved by Jaziri.
It would then head to a tiebreak, where the Tunisian will take control. The world number 83 sealed the opening set 7-4 in the breaker.
Edmund would get off to a good start in the second, mustering the first break of the match, but his lead would not last as Jaziri broke back a few games later.
The Brit saved four match points on serve as it headed to another tiebreak. With the Tunisian piling on the pressure, Edmund went on to lose the tiebreak 7-5.
The good news for the Yorkshireman is that there were no recurrences of the stomach injury that has kept him out since the French Open. He will now head to Wimbledon where he received a wildcard in to the main draw.
Thing began to look up again when ward stepped on to court against Tim Smyczek in the afternoon.
Much like Bedene before him, the Brit raced in to the lead. The 28-year-old won five straight games to take the first set 6-1 in 26 minutes.
The Londoner had a chance to take an early break in the second set, but Smyczek saved two break points, before claiming his own lead in the following game.
The American failed to serve out the set at 5-3 before the rain came back to interrupt play yet again. As a result the match will be completed on Tuesday.
So it was a mixed day for the British players in Nottingham, as the trio continued their preparations for Wimbledon next week. Bedene got off to a good start, whilst Edmund made an unsuccessful return from injury. Ward on the other hand must wait until Tuesday to complete his first round match.
Bedene and Ward will both be in action on Tuesday. You can keep up with their progress on Britwatchsports.com