Kyle Edmund, Britain’s sole representative in the men’s singles at the Australian Open, produced one of the shocks of the day when he knocked out the US Open finalist and 11th seed, Kevin Anderson on the opening day of the first major of the year.
Just happy you know – going a set down, then coming back. The hours you put in, training etc so many things like that those type of results make it feel really good - worth it basically. So I’m really happy. Kyle Edmund
The British No2 realising his responsibility in the absence of the injured Andy Murray who is recovering following surgery to his hip, rose to the occasion to come back from two sets to one down, to claim a place in round two for only his second, second round appearance in Melbourne.
His 6-7(4) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 win took almost four hours and his reward is an encounter with the journeyman from Uzbekistan who has also been known to cause upsets during his career.
It was a gritty performance as, after losing a tight first set on the tie-break, Edmund deployed his heavy forehand to great effect to break for 4-2 and level the match.
Anderson struck back in the third reeling off six of seven points after a brief rain delay, to go ahead again only for the 23-year-old Brit to return the compliment in the fourth and force a deciding fifth set.
Edmund had lost to the South African in a tight five-setter in Paris and when Anderson broke for 2-0, memories of that loss must have weighed heavily on the young Briton. However, he showed a new resolve to level immediately and held his nerve with some aggressive play to forcing his opponent into errors and subsequently breaking him for a fourth time, clinching the match aptly with his 31st forehand winner.
“It was a really good result for me today,” a very happy Edmund admitted later. “It was a great win at the end like that. There were so many positives getting through a tough match like that. He’s a quality player and had a really good year last year and started this year well too.
“Just happy you know – going a set down, then coming back. The hours you put in, training etc so many things like that those type of results make it feel really good – worth it basically. So I’m really happy.”
Reflecting on the manner of his win, he added: “When I lost last April/May to Kevin in five it’s a good measure. Like what is it – nine/eight months on [and] I’m beating him in five now. Of course it was still very close margins and maybe I would have lost – but I didn’t, I won, it’s good to see that.
“I was a break down in the fifth so it’s good that I’m learning and taking that stuff on board; and learning from my experiences to turn those results around basically.
“Like I said I try and work as hard as I can on these things on the court and in my head and stuff. When it pays off you know it’s really satisfying.”
He was not happy though, with his new pink outfit! “It’s a bright colour and I’m not sure it suits me the best, but once you’re on there you forget about it and just play tennis.”