PARIS, May 24, 2016
Kyle Edmund has returned to Roland Garros for the second time after he made his debut in Paris last year. The 21-year-old Brit, who already captured two ATP Challenger titles this season in Dallas and Rome, celebrated a 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Neckarcup champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.
“It was just a proper match that I felt I did well to come through. It was a real battle out there. My opponent is playing some high-level tennis. The first two sets we struggled to break each other. I had some break points, and then in the second set I had a set point of my own. Could have been two sets to love up. That’s the way it goes. It was very close. One set all and you’ve got to mentally reset.”
“I felt he was playing some good tennis at the end of the third, and actually being a break down helped me just to tell myself, look, you need to break back here or you’ll go two sets to love down. I felt like I got another gear and started playing some really good tennis. I think that is where I carried a lot of the momentum breaking him twice to win the third and carried that momentum into the fourth where it went really quickly,” Edmund was pleased with his performance.
Edmund beat Stephane Robert last year to reach the second round at Roland Garros. This has been his best Grand Slam result so far.
“It’s probably the clay, I like most. Simple as that. It’s no secret, as I’ve always liked to play on clay and I enjoy it. Every surface has its own disadvantages and advantages, and so here it’s like you can’t get many cheap points. You have to really earn them. It’s just different. Say on the grass you can get short points a lot quicker and cheaper so the rallies aren’t so long. The nature of the clay is you have to build. That suits my game. I personally think so,” the world number 82 stated about his favourite surface.
“I remember last year. I finished late again last year. Won in five sets. The light was getting dark. Very similar here. Wasn’t five sets, but another longish match, physically tough, and the light was getting dark. Similar feel to it. Good that I was able to come out on top.”
Edmund feels physically in good shape, although he struggled with injuries in the past.
“In terms of the ab injury, I have nothing on my ab this year, so that’s good. In terms of the ankle, nothing. I don’t know how long the match was, but about two hours 40 of running and sliding it held up absolutely fine. Obviously great confidence that the ankle is holding up. That’s good.”
Edmund awaits the winner of the encounter between John Isner and John Millman.
“The two players are quite different in their game styles obviously. John Isner has got a big serve, very explosive, powerful game. Very similar to the guy today, except I would probably say that Basilashvili is more aggressive with his groundstrokes. Hasn’t got as big a serve obviously. But Johnny Millman, I know him really well. I get on with him great. We both support Liverpool so we chat about that a lot. We get on really well. I lot to him twice. I think the last one was a close match in Aptos. But he’s more of a rally sort of person. Not as big a serve. Likes to rally and run a lot. So he’ll be tough to break down. Equally be both tough matches, as it was today. The guy is in-form. For me, nothing changes. I still have to go out there and play my game and look to do what I do best.”