Kyle Edmund’s start to the clay court swing of the ATP Tour has not been very positive. Last week, seeded three in Marrakech, he lost out in the second round; this week, at the Monte Carlo Masters, seeded 17 in what is a high-class field, he allowed a winning position in the opening round, to slip.
Edmund started strongly, claiming the first set, but then his game fell apart as the diminutive Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, turned the match on its head by winning 12 of the next 13 games to claim a place in round two, 4-6 6-3 6-1.
Yorkshire’s Edmund took the first set in 50 minutes breaking his opponent in the 10th game. The British No.1 then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set and looked in complete control but Schwartzman hit back to level matters at 3-3 before going on to claim it 6-3.
The Argentine continued to dominate as he won the first three games of the third set – to extend his winning streak to nine games – before Edmund briefly stopped the rot to make it 3-1, but the Argentine won the next three games to seal the win after just over two hours on court.
Elsewhere, tenth-seed Daniil Medvedev had no problems at all in dismissing Joao Sousa 6-1 6-1.
11th-seed and clay specialist Marco Cecchinato was also in dominant mood, beating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4.
Fabio Fognini started slowly against Andrey Rublev before securing a 4-6 7-5 6-4 success, and David Goffin also got off to a winning start with a 6-1 6-4 win over Guido Andreozzi.
Denis Shapovalov was another top player who failed to live up to his seeding, crashing out to Jan-Lennard Struff 5-7 6-3 6-1 on what was his birthday.