By Alessandro Mastroluca
- Dusan Lajovic  def. Kyle Edmund 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(4)
- The Brit, who never came back from two sets down in his career, is moving to the USA
- Pierre-Hugues Herbert def. Cameron Norrie 7-5 3-6 3-6 7-5 6-4
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Kyle Edmund plans to play in New York next month after his straight-sets loss to No.24 seed Dusan Lajovic at Australian Open first round. Cameron Norrie lost in five sets to Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
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Dusan Lajovic  def. Kyle Edmund 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(4)
Kyle Edmund regretted his defensive style and looked ahead to the American swing as he suffered a harsh 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(4) to No.24 seed Dusan Lajovic. The introverted Serbian, backed by a vocal crowd, won 81% of first-serve points and completed the match delivering 39 winners to 29 unforced errors.
Edmund was leading 5-2 in the opening set on Monday before the match was postponed. The Brit never managed to offer the same level against the aggressive opponent displaying his whole armour.
The Serbian simply played better, Edmund admitted in his post-match interview to Eurosport.
“Today, compared to yesterday he was more on it. Conditions looked quicker, I think he did a lot of things better than me. I just found that he was being a bit more proactive than me. Today I didn’t start well, I lost three games in a row, everything was just going his way. He put a lot of balls in play, I was defending a bit too much”.
Edmund, who never came back from two sets down, felt like he was playing better than he did here last year. He looks perfectly aware there’s room for improvement. Aiming to play and win more matches the World No.69 will start his preparation for the American swing. He’s scheduled to play three tournaments before the first Masters 1000 events of the season, Indian Wells and Miami, starting from New York (10-16 February).
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Pierre-Hugues Herbert def. Cameron Norrie 7-5 3-6 3-6 7-5 6-4
Cameron Norrie converted five of his 16 break-points in his 7-5 3-6 3-6 7-5 6-4 defeat to Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert. The lefty Brit registered 44 winners to Herbert’s 58 and finished the match with 63 unforced errors to 76. The sixth best doubles player in the ATP Rankings saw his errors pile up between the second and the third sets.
Norrie looked in control as he drilled a seemingly simple return that his opponent failed to counter to move two sets to one up. Herbert converted his only break-point in a scrappy fourth set to force a decider. Both players felt the weight of the occasion and committed 38 unforced to 16 winners combined.
In the end, the World No.64 had too much firepower for the Brit, who lost his grip and regretted the amount of unconverted break points in the fourth set. Herbert continued to display his free-flowing game and moved to the net to smother Norrie in the closing stages.
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