Kyle Edmund will have breathed a a big sigh of relief at finally breaking his horrendous run of 8 consecutive losses since last August when he beat qualifier Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in their opening round match at the Rolex Paris Masters.
Edmund, 24, who recently lost his status as British No.1 thanks to his poor form which has seen him plummet from 14 in January to 75 in the world rankings and the national number three, required one hour and 20 minutes to win through to the second round 6-4 6-3.
The last time he won a match was at the Rogers Cup in Montreal when he beat Nick Kyrgios in the first round.
His next challenge is the diminutive Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, runner-up to Dominic Thiem at last weekend’s Vienna Open and 14th seed in Paris, which will well prove a tougher hurdle to clear.
His form on this occasion was solid and his concentration held up to clear the finishing line though there was a moment when it looked like he would let a winning position slip by again.
In the first set the pair battled it out toe-to-toe and it was the qualifier that eventually cracked in the 10th game when after some 10-minutes, Berankis was dropped his serve on the 4th break point to concede the set.
With Edmund’s forehand and more specifically his backhand down the line, he ran off with the next five games and looked certain to deliver a bagel on his opponent.
Then the wheels started to wobble if not fall off for Berankis started his fight back breaking Edmund as he tried to serve out and then hold his own forcing him to try and cross the line at his second attempt. This time he succeeded.
Watching courtside, Leon Smith now has the tricky problem of who to pick between Cameron Norrie (who is ranked 17 places above him) and Edmund for the final place in his Davis Cup team. A win over Schwartzman should see it swing to the Yorkshireman.