Kyle Edmund produced a clean and efficient performance to defeat Daniil Medvedev in the first round of the Madrid Open. The Russian proved to be a tricky opponent for the British #1 but Edmund remained to solid in the end. It will not get any easier for the Brit as he faces a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic for a place in the last sixteen.
Medvedev started the match impressively and forced Edmund under all sorts of pressure with some intelligent shot selection. This was combined with the Brit struggling to get his forehand into play but he managed to stay close with the Russian which is one massive aspect of Edmund’s success this year: to find a way when not playing your best.
It only took Edmund five games to really find his range on the forehand side and it was one way traffic once he was able to get his destructive weapon into play. The Briton saved a total of five break points in the opener but the one break was enough for him and he wrapped up the set 6-4.
The backhand has by far been the most improved shot of the Edmund game and it was seriously impressive to see how much depth he could consistently get off of that wing and that caused numerous problems for the increasingly frustrated Medvedev. Edmund was changing direction off the backhand wing with ease and that allowed him to race off to a rapid start in the second set.
The Australian Open semifinalist managed to weather the Russian storm and in the end, ran away with the match to complete a very productive day in the office 6-4, 6-0. Novak Djokovic will be his next opponent but can the Brit really defeat the Serb?
Djokovic v Edmund
Novak Djokovic seemed to be very close to being at his almighty best as he defeated the inform Kei Nishikori in straight sets. The Serb defended out of the corners in sublime fashion and played his best tennis in the biggest moments of the match.
Edmund has enjoyed a great year so far which has seen him reach his first Grand Slam semifinal, as well as making his maiden ATP Final. The Briton certainly has the game to defeat Djokovic.
The pair will lock horns and battle it out on Wednesday at 2pm local time in front of the eager fans of the Manolo Santana Court. The former world #1 leads the head-to-head 3-0 and has not even dropped a single set but it is worth noting that two of those meetings occurred in 2016 when Djokovic was in his absolute peak and Edmund is a much better player than he was then.
If Edmund could choose a surface to play Djokovic on it would definitely be clay. Although the Serb did look mightily impressive in round one, I suspect he may have a difficult time backing up that kind of supreme performance. Therefore I am going for Edmund to win in three sets.