Edmund out of Wimbledon after second round defeat
03 July 2019 / 18:50
Kyle Edmund is out of Wimbledon after suffering injury issues in a grinder of a five-setter against southpaw Fernando Verdasco.
The Rio Olympian and British No.1 gave it his all on a packed-out Centre Court, playing excellent tennis to take the first two sets only to see the experienced Verdasco fight his way back, 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4.
The Centre Court battle was one that captivated the crowd, the up and coming young home favourite against 35-year-old Verdasco, with a spill in the third set tie-break seeing momentum shift.
“I just slipped over,” said Edmund. "When you slip, it's just a bit of a shock. You obviously don't plan to slip so when stuff like that happens you’ve just got to regroup and keep going.
“When I slipped I think my leg just straightened and in that moment I felt something but I was able to play on from that.
“It was a long match and quite a physical one, the sort of physical intensity that I showed in the first part of the match gradually just declined, I wasn’t able to keep that level up.
“I should have probably finished the match, having obviously a two sets to love lead and a break. After I lost the break, lost the third set, I physically just tapered off a bit.”
Verdasco, now ranked 37 in the world after being a career high of seven ten years ago, produced a wonderful performance to come back from two sets down against a man 11 years his junior.
In a quirk of the record books, six years ago to the day the then British No.1 – Andy Murray – took on Verdasco on Centre Court and went to five sets, that time with the home player prevailing.
Edmund, who reached a first Tour-level grass-court semi-final at Eastbourne last week, looked to be in control until the slip and having received treatment to his right leg.
In the third set the 24-year-old earned an early break but was eventually taken to a tie-break and after the slip never recovered against his experienced opponent.
Edmund continued: “I tried my best. I don't know how long the match was, but I did my best and I'm disappointed I didn't get through.
“I can look back and definitely look at some opportunities that I missed in the match, especially with the position I was in.
“When you look at seeds that have lost, that shows, a number on a piece of paper just does not mean anything. Everyone is a good player in this draw. You have to play every match 100 percent.”
Edmund’s fellow Olympian Heather Watson also failed to advance after going down to Estonian 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-1.
However, there is plenty more for the home crowd to get behind on Thursday, with five British players seeking to reach the third round.
British No.1 Johanna Konta faces Katerina Siniakova and Harriet Dart joins her in the women’s singles, while Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Jay Clarke are in the men’s draw.