By Jake Davies
- Kyle Edmund def. Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (5) 7-6 (4) 6-4
- Edmund tackles Hyeon Chung in the second rounf
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Kyle Edmund toughed out a three-set comeback win as he overcame stiff opposition in Denis Shapovalov in Brisbane first round.
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Kyle Edmund def. Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (5) 7-6 (4) 6-4
Kyle Edmund showed tremendous character in his first match of the season, where he beat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov from a set down. The match symbolises another step in the right direction for the Brit as he aims to put the close losses of 2017 in the back of his mind ahead of the new season.
It felt like the Canadian started the match the better of the two players. He was creating a lot of opportunities for himself in Edmund’s first service game, but it was Edmund who salvaged the first break for *5-4. Shapovalov broke straight back before taking the opening set in the tiebreak 7-5.
Edmund’s response will please his coach Fredrik Rosengren. Edmund masked a lot of his limitations by dominating a lot of the points from his trusty forehand wing. The serve and the forehand combination is something that Edmund will always turn to in order to win these big matches, but it must feel great for the Brit to be able to rely on those weapons in time of need.
Edmund levelled the match through a second set breaker and then ramped up the intensity in the third set, where he really unloaded on some penetrating forehands. We know that Shapovalov like to wind up his funky forehand groundstrokes, but Edmund took the time away from him and forced his opponent to play a lot of the decider on the back foot and scrambling behind the baseline. It was a very well-executed match from Edmund.
Edmund vs Hyeon Chung H2H: Edmund leads 1-0
Edmund will be feeling super confident after gritting his teeth and coming through a tough first match in Brisbane. His next opponent will be South Korea’s Hyeon Chung, who finished last season winning the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals event in November.
The preparation for this opponent will be completely different to Shapovalov. Chung is a lot less explosive off the ground than Shapovalov, but he wins a lot of his matches through a technically sound backhand, his work ethic from the back of the court and he is very much a player that thrives on the mistakes of his opponent. He may produce less winners than an aggressive player like Shapovalov does, but he can generate a lot of power from the backhand wing in particular.
If Edmund shows the same determination and willpower that he displayed in his first round match then I see no reason why he can’t get his second win against the South Korean.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets
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