Kyle Edmund came through a grueling four-hour match to make the second round of the French Open in dramatic fashion. Having battled for the best part of the late Monday afternoon and evening, he agreed with his opponent Jeremy Chardy, to an overnight suspension when the light faded at 9.22pm with the score standing precariously at 5-all in the fifth.
I knew coming out it was very important and there was no room for error. Also, after last night, just below four hours, there was fatigue Kyle Edmund
On their return the following day the British number one completed a very satisfactory 7-6(1) 5-7 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory, requiring just 7-minutes to close out the match.
Considering Edmund’s last few months which have been blighted by injury and poor results when his ability to close out matches was being questioned, this latest performance will do much to lift his confidence.
Even so, there were moments when that question raised its ugly head as leading by two-sets to one, he was well placed to close out the match earlier. Unfortunately, playing a Frenchman in front of a partisan home crowd brings its own problems as Chardy, with the crowd roaring him on, clawed his way back into contention.
But it was an inspired Edmund who took control immediately on resumption as he completed the job with his trademark booming forehand and extracting a couple of unforced errors from his opponent to seal the win and move into round two where he will face Pablo Cuevas, the experienced Uruguayan clay court exponent.
“I knew coming out it was very important and there was no room for error,” Edmund said on ITV. “Also, after last night, just below four hours, there was fatigue.
“You’ve just got to push it through. I knew I could up the intensity. Best of five was a marathon, but this was a sprint today, and I just went for it.
“It’s tricky, especially emotionally: you’re in the match and then you’ve got to switch off. I got out of here 11pm last night and arrived at 9am today.
“It’s all part of the game. I think that is the longest match I’ve played, 4:02. It was really good for me to come through that test.”
Edmund’s compatriot the national number two, Cameron Norrie however, couldn’t find any answers as he slumped to a disappointing 6-3 6-0 6-2 defeat at the hands of the world number 273, Elliot Benchetrit, a 20-year-old French qualifier
“The biggest disappointment for me today is that I didn’t really bring my level and I didn’t enjoy it out there,” Norrie told Metro.com. “I was kind of in my own world and didn’t show my level. I didn’t execute.
“I’m honestly not too bothered about winning. If you win and lose tennis matches, it happens. At the end of the day, it’s a tennis match. But I’m just kind of disappointed I didn’t kind of show my best level and I didn’t lock it down.
“When I’m really enjoying it, I’m kind of competing well. I don’t think I competed well. That’s the main disappointment for me.”
Dan Evans was no doubt also disappointed, but he pushed the veteran clay courter Fernando Verdasco, the 23rd seed from Spain, before capitulating after three-hours and 25-minutes 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2 .
Other British news came from the doubles following the defeat by Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego of Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares which led Murray to reveals, that was the last time the pair, who won two grand slam titles, wiould play together. Murray will now be joining Neal Skupski to establish an all-British partnership.