British number one Kyle Edmund’s hopes of joining compatriot Dan Evans in the second round of the US Open were dashed by Pablo Andujar after a four hour and 21-minute exhausting battle between the pair.
The 30th seeded Edmund reached the fourth round in 2016 but lost in the opening round last year. His latest loss means he has only won three of his last seven matches since being knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon.
He was confident before the event declaring: “I’m feeling excited, had a good week’s training, really enjoyed it and feel like I’ve been progressing nicely. What I’ve got right now is the best I’ve had in a while so it’s just about going and seeing what I’ve got out there on the match court. The conditions here suit me well, the balls fly off, I’ve always enjoyed it. I’m confident in terms of belief in myself in my game but I’m a realist, I haven’t won a huge amount of matches but feel I’ve also done a lot of good stuff.”
The revival he was hoping for didn’t materialise despite holding winning positions much as he has done in preceding matches, eventually capitulating to the 33-year-old world No.70 from Spain, 3-6 7-6(1) 7-5 5-7 6-2, a clay court specialist who hadn’t won at Flushing Meadows since 2014.
Edmund’s powerful game secured him the first set and should have provided a solid platform from which to go on and secure a win.
He certainly looked on course as he broke to lead in the second only for his opponent to strike back by simply adopting a defensive mode and returning every ball to frustrate the Briton.
Edmund rallied in the fourth and again held a lead in the decider only to find himself outplayed once more by Andujar’s tactics.