Wimbledon Day 4 | Edmund admits to immaturity
Kyle Edmund had mixed emotions as he confessed a “lack of maturity” ended his bid to become the fifth Brit to reach the third round at Wimbledon in 28 degree centigrade heat on Centre Court.
I remember when I was eight, nine years old, with my family I did a tour around Wimbledon, and they took you around Centre Court. And I was saying to my mum this morning, ‘Remember that photo when I was eight, nine years old, standing there, now I'm actually going to play there Kyle Edmund
Edmund was defeated 7-6 6-4 6-4 by the grass-averse Gael Monfils, who reached the last 32 for the sixth time, while fulfilling a dream he had as an eight-year-old to play on the most famous court in tennis.
The British No.2 said: “I got my game out on court, which is something I wanted to do, and it was just a bit of lack of maturity at this stage. A few shots in certain points or match situations just needed to be better on. I’m only 22 years old, I don’t know all the answers. That’s why it’s a great thing to learn from.
“You watch so many matches on Centre Court, and it’s one thing saying you’re going to be on Centre. Actually experiencing it is another thing. I didn’t enjoy the loss, but I enjoyed the experience, being on the biggest court. I’m sure a lot of players would say the biggest court in the world.
“As a Brit playing on Centre Court is the No.1 (experience) for me. I remember when I was eight, nine years old, with my family I did a tour around Wimbledon, and they took you around Centre Court. And I was saying to my mum this morning, ‘Remember that photo when I was eight, nine years old, standing there, now I’m actually going to play there’.
“I was feeling like anxious to get on. Excited. A little bit nervous. Wanting to do well.
“In the past I have played on big courts and come off saying I didn’t quite get my game going or only got going later on in the match. It was nice I got going quite quickly.”
“The first set was tight with the tiebreak, going close to break points. If I broke I would have been serving for it. Each set sort of felt I had a bit of a chance. Broke back in the second, and obviously he was a break up in the third.”
There were whispered reports of spectators fainting around the All England Club as Edmund and Monfils stepped on court.
And, although he didn’t swoon, the giant Edmund succumbed to the Parisian after a roller coaster ride saw him fail to reach the third round for the first time.
The strapping blond bomber with a booming forehand weakened his own hand on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs in the searing temperatures.
Edmund snapped that he was only the “underdog on paper”. and hoped his victory over Monfils’ compatriot Richard Gasquet at the last US Open was a good omen.
Also that his French opponent’s dislike for the natural surface would work in his favour.
But it was never going to be easy facing a 15th seed who was good enough to make the ATP World Tour finals at the 02 last November.
Especially against an unorthodox, flamboyant player with more tricks in his bag than the average conjurer.
But he did not help himself, making a series of unforced errors at crucial times.
And Edmund’s demeanour suggested he would struggle to get the crowd involved. A shame, because he certainly needed them. Edmund held his own in the opening set with neither player broken.
But the wheels came off the Yorkshireman’s game in the tie-break. A series of unforced errors gifted it to Monfils 7-1.
It went from bad to worse in the second as Edmund was broken early. But the 22-year-old broke back.
Yet again it all went wrong for the British No.2 as he gave away his serve at 4-4, leaving his French opponent to serve out to love to go two sets up.
The bumpy journey continued for Edmund who established a 3-0 lead in the third before being hauled back by Monfils who then won five games in a row.
Edmund delayed the inevitable by pulling back again, but any hopes of a revival were jettisoned as Monfils sealed victory in 2hr.12min.
Monfils revealed before how he believed he had not played well on grass in ten years. He still believes that.
He said: “I was not being sarcastic (about not playing well on the surface). I was just being honest with myself. I think I’m a good tennis player, and I’ve never done so good on grass.
“Never actually passed the third round at Wimbledon. Never had great result on grass. So I guess I just playing a bit better. But maybe I have a better understanding about myself, how to move a little bit. But for me, I think still is not a court where I can be able to put my best.”