Murray all alone after injury puts paid to Edmund

OUT> beverley's Kyle Edmund.
OUT> beverley's Kyle Edmund.
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Beverley’s Kyle Edmund was last night forced to withdraw from the French Open with an 
abdominal injury ahead of his second-round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.

Edmund was playing in his second consecutive grand slam after coming through qualifying at Roland Garros, and the 20-year-old beat France’s Stephane Robert in five sets on Monday to seal his place in round two.

The Briton had been scheduled to play world No 30 Kyrgios today, but an abdominal problem has forced him to pull out.

An official tournament statement read: “British player Kyle Edmund, scheduled to play Australian Nick Kyrgios tomorrow in the second round, has withdrawn from the tournament due to an abdominal muscle lesion.

“In the third round, Kyrgios will meet the winner of the match between Britain’s Andy Murray and Portuguese Joao Sousa.”

Edmund overcame both cramp and a raucous French crowd on Court Seven to beat Robert and win his first ever five-setter 2-6 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-2.

It was the first time since 2006 that a British man other than Murray had won in the main draw and the first time in four years that three British players made it to round two of the French Open.

Edmund is expected now to focus on getting fit for the grass-court season and Wimbledon, where he has lost in the first round for the past two years.

Murray plays Sousa later today for a place in round three in Paris while in the women’s draw, Britain’s Heather Watson faces America’s Sloane Stephens.

The Scot will have to throw caution to the wind and attack if he wants to win his first French Open title this year, according to two-time champion Jim Courier.

Murray came through his opening match against Argentinian qualifier Facundo Arguello in straight sets and, if he beats the world No 44, Murray may face Spain’s David Ferrer, whom he has never beaten on clay, in the quarter-finals before a potential last-four clash with either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

The British No 1, however, has won his last 10 consecutive matches on the red sand, including titles in both Munich and Madrid, and Courier believes the key to success for the Scot is trusting his attacking weapons as much as his defence.

“What we saw in Madrid was very enlightening and hopefully it was enlightening for Andy too,” said Courier. “It looked like he was playing physically on fumes – playing so many matches meant he didn’t really have his legs underneath him in the semis against Kei Nishikori. That forced him to play very aggressive tennis and I think against those types of players he needs to do that a lot more.

“We know his defence is as good as anybody’s, his defence is amazing, but I’d like to see him trust his offence as much as he does his defence. When he did that in the semis and the final in Madrid, the results were clear – he played some of the best tennis he’s ever played.”