Australian Open 2018: Kyle Edmund beats Kevin Anderson

Kyle Edmund during his match against Kevin Anderson at the 2018 Australian open.
Kyle Edmund during his match against Kevin Anderson at the 2018 Australian open.

Kyle Edmund claimed the best win of his career as he knocked out 11th seed Kevin Anderson in five sets at the Australian Open.

Edmund, the only British man in the singles draw, won 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round in Melbourne.

The 23-year-old, ranked 49th, twice came back from a set down and recovered from 2-0 behind in the final set to win in a minute short of four hours.

He goes on to face Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in the second round.

He had lost his only previous encounter with Anderson over five sets at last year’s French Open, and was in no mood to suffer a similar defeat by the South African.

Asked if it ranked as his best win to date, Edmund told BBC Radio 5 live: “I think so.

“In the circumstances, having lost to him in five sets last year, he made the final of the US Open on hard courts, and the way the match ebbed and flowed – it was really satisfying that I turned it around.”

Anderson, 31, was predictably dominant for periods on serve, using his 6ft 8in frame to good effect as he finished with 35 aces to Edmund’s 11.

It was a mark of Edmund’s progress that, unlike in Paris, he remained aggressive in the tense closing stages, finishing with 31 forehand winners.

“It’s my game, it’s what works best for me and I’m confident in it,” Edmund said.

“I don’t play that way flipping a coin – this one might go in, it might not. I back myself and go for my shots.

“It’s the way I’ve always approached it, and maybe I’m getting better at it as I get more experience.”

Paris memories banished

Edmund twice came back from a set down, and recovered an early break of serve in the decider as he simply refused to yield to the 11th seed.

He had been working on his returns in the off-season, and it paid off.

After losing a tight first set on the tie-break, Edmund’s heavy forehand began to find its range as he broke for 4-2 on his way to taking the second.

Anderson’s experience told in the third set as he reeled off six of seven points following a rain delay to move ahead once again.

However, urged on by a large British contingent on court three, Edmund broke early in the fourth and roared as he held on from 0-40 to consolidate.

Memories of Paris stirred when Anderson took control of the fifth set at 2-0, but this time Edmund hit straight back.

A shoulder rub was required as the match clock approached four hours but Edmund continued to play aggressively, forcing the errors from Anderson to break serve for a fourth time.

The Briton admitted before the match that he had lost too many matches from winning positions last year and made no mistake this time, sweeping his 31st forehand winner of the day to clinch victory.

 

Author: Piers Newbery (© website BBC sport) // Photography: Getty Images Sport

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