WIMBLEDON enters its second week shorn of a home challenger in the singles for the first time in more than a decade but Kyle Edmund enhanced his burgeoning reputation once more.
On his least comfortable surface, the 23-year-old had the home crowd believing he could upset Novak Djokovic before the three-time Wimbledon champion roared back to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.
Edmund has been all about slow and steady improvement but this season he has pressed the accelerator pedal, climbing from 50 in the rankings to 17. He is predicted to reach a new career high of 15 at the end of the tournament, although others may yet go above him.
It is certainly a major change from a year ago, when he lost comfortably in the second round to Gael Monfils and it would have taken a lot of searching to find someone tipping him as a future grand slam champion.
Edmund said: “Overall, in terms of level, it’s been a lot better for me. My game’s really improved this year. If you think back to 12 months ago, where it was, where it is now, there’s been really good improvements, which I’m pleased about.
“My movement on [grass] has been a lot better, understanding it. It’s been that constant learning process. I think overall it’s been the case with me on the grass [that] every year I’m getting slightly better.
“The losses that I’ve had, it’s always good to learn from in each of the tournaments. I guess the good thing is it’s better and there’s room to improve, for sure. I think I put a decent level out on court.”
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