By Ros Satar, at Indian Wells
- Kyle Edmund  def. Nicolas Jarry 6-2 6-0
- Talks about the departure of coach Fredrik Rosengren ahead of his comeback to the tour after injury
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA USA – Kyle Edmund picked up in the BNP Paribas Open tournament where he left off after winning the Challenger here last week with a convincing win.
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Kyle Edmund  def. Nicolas Jarry 6-2 6-0
After an unhappy start to the year, British No. 1 Kyle Edmund took time out to recover from a knee injury and not to rush his comeback to the tour. In fact, he flew out to Indian Wells early to take on the Challenger tournament as his competitive return. The move paid off with five wins under his belt, not to mention being able to adapt to the slightly cooler conditions this year in the desert.
He started very strongly, breaking Nicolas Jarry early in the first set, and at the end to take the lead, before totally dominating the Chilean in the second set, denying him a spot on the score-board at all.
After the match, he assessed: “I have been here two-and-a-half weeks now, so I’m used to conditions, feel comfortable with it. Not just comfortable, like, expressing myself. Playing aggressively. Five matches in the challenger helped last week with my confidence, in my game, and on my body.
“Today was just about managing expectations. I know I’ve been feeling good, and obviously winning the challenger, so I was telling myself not to expect tocome out and play well but compete harder, try and compete really hard and earn the victory rather than just playing well.
“It was great. I ended up playing well, seeing the ball well, reading his serve good. So, yeah, just really happy for the win.”
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Knee injury and Fredrik Rosengren’s retirement
From the emotional high of winning his first ATP Tour final, on his second attempt in 2018, to the lows of calling time early at the end of last year and struggling with a knee injury at the start of this year. Edmund decided it would be better to take the time to heal and train properly.
He explained: “It’s always not nice and frustrating that you can’t play. Sometimes it’s a little bit out of your control. The body is a funny thing. It will go at its own pace. You can obviously help it and speed it up slightly, but there is only to a point you can speed up things. So, you kind of have to let it work itself out and heal itself.
“After Australia, I was entered into Rotterdam, Marseilles, and decided to pull out after two tournaments to then give me about six weeks’ training. Ended up training for about five weeks doing a training block, and it just really helped with the strength, robust of my body, and the cardio, as well. It’s something I couldn’t really do before. Australia was a lot of cardio work just because you can’t put the load through the body because of the knee. So I did a lot of good things. You know, gave me confidence coming in. It was good to show that.”
The announcement that his coach Fredrik Rosengren would be retiring, and he revealed that the Swede had been with him through his training block ahead of his successful return to the tour.
Edmund said: “He was actually with me in my training block in Bahamas. He had got me in a good place and that was great. And he said you’re in a great place. No reason why you can’t go on and do well.
“But in terms of his decision, just obviously you always respect anyone’s decision, especially him. He’s been on tour 30, 35 years. We were together about a year and a bit, year and a half maybe. So, he taught me a lot of good things, very experienced, won my first tour event, got to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, career high. So I was very happy of the work we were doing.
“I think he basically thought — he was thinking how long am I going to keep doing this? Where I’m at in life? He’s on the road, like, I think it was like 230 days-plus. So, yeah, sometimes you just want to spend time with family.
“And it’s not a concept I’ve ever had because it’s not like, ‘Thank you, Coach, I’m going to move on now; or the coach, I’m going to move on to a different player.’
“But it’s the first time ever said, I’m going to be retiring. I’m not going to be traveling on the tour. I just want to spend time with family. I just thanked him and that was it, really. I’ll always be a friend to him and keep in touch with him. He always wants me to do well.”
While he was coming back from his knee injury, the focus was getting back to match sharpness, but there are still decisions to be made about his coaching set up going forward.
Edmund continued: “Fidde and [Mark Hilton] share[d] the time. So, Hilts is still coaching me. We had a schedule at the start of the year with him and Fidde, but we haven’t quite visited the schedule. I’m sure it will be altered just because Fidde was doing some weeks and we need to see what’s going to happen. I think Hilts will probably end up doing a few more weeks. But at the same time, he doesn’t want to be traveling 40, 45 weeks. It’s just not sustainable.
“I’ll figure out what I want to do and maybe get another coach or stick with Hilts and travel with just a physio that week or something. Yeah, we’ll see what happens, but just because of where I was at with my injury, I just wanted to play matches and not really think about that at the minute.”
Edmund v Radu Albot [Q] | H2H: Edmund leads 3-0
Up next for Edmund is Radu Albot. The Moldovan also experienced the high of winning a maiden title, beating Dan Evans in the Delray Beach final, and having come through qualifying here, finds himself at least as match-sharp as Edmund coming into this clash.
However, with an unbeaten streak against him, Edmund has every reason to feel confident against Albot including beating him on his way to the Marrakech final.
Edmund said: “Radu may be been around for a while in terms of he’s always competing hard, someone you know won’t give you stuff. So now he’s got a tour win, which is extra confidence and anyone who is confident in sport is dangerous. Confidence plays a massive [part] in tennis.”
As Evans found, Albot will run down every last ball, and Edmund’s knee will be getting a good work out, as he fights for every point. He modelled his game on David Ferrer, and it shows.
Edmund’s keys to success here will be to be effective with his serve, and particularly his serve-forehand combination, but there was some pleasing progress with his backhand, and the variety will not hurt him one bit.
Prediction: Edmund in straight sets.
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