By Ros Satar

  • Kyle Edmund [17] v Diego Schwartzman | H2H: 1-1 (ATP Tour Level)
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – Kyle Edmund will look to shrug off disappointment in Marrakech as he starts his Monte Carlo campaign.

 

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Kyle Edmund [17] v Diego Schwartzman | H2H: 1-1 (ATP Tour Level)

With the prospect of potentially facing Novak Djokovic in the third round, British No. 1 Kyle Edmund has to shake off the disappointment of not coming close to defending his final points from Marrakech, and focus on the European clay court swing coming up.

It was a tricky second round against the returning Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who missed six months of the season last year after knee surgery. Things do not get any easier for him in the opening Masters of the European clay court season.

Diego Schwartzman in the third round of Roland Garros, 2018

Diego Schwartzman in the third round of Roland Garros, 2018 | (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

Up first is Diego Schwartzman, the tricky Argentinian who has, until recently, been a fixture in the World Top 20. If we look at just their tour level encounters, the pair have split wins on hard courts, with Edmund taking the latest honours, and also claiming a Challenger win to just edge their head to head.

A lot has happened for both players though since that first Challenger encounter, with titles for both, but Schwartzman having been just a little steadier with experience over the last year.

For Edmund, wearing the mantle of the British No. 1 comes into its own on a surface that he favours. Monte Carlo is quite heavy and claggy, giving the Brit time to set up his rocket forehand for a potent serve and forehand combination. For all that power, Schwartzman will match him with footspeed around the court, and makes up for perhaps a lack of power with precision and a return of serve that many would die for.

There has been a lot of improvement for Edmund – his movement particularly stands out as being very sharp, together with a beefed up backhand, and coupled with his serve and forehand make for very formidable weapons.

There is little to separate Edmund and Schwartzman in the rankings, and Schwartzman got his clay feet under him early in the Latin American swing, but comes to the European season after a bit of a break following a disappointing Sunshine double. In the past their encounters have been in straight sets, but the slower conditions in Monte Carlo might drag this out a little.

Prediction: Edmund in three sets.

Edmund & Schwartzman are scheduled on Court Rainier III, not before 3:30pm (2:30pm BST).

 

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