Wimbledon: Heir apparent Kyle Edmund welcomes increase in expectation

Yorkshire's Kyle Edmund.
Yorkshire's Kyle Edmund.
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Yorkshire’s Kyle Edmund is thrilled by the idea of one day replacing Andy Murray as Britain’s main man at Wimbledon.

Edmund, 20, from Beverley, announced his arrival on the big stage at the French Open last month when he edged out France’s Stephane Robert in five sets to record his first grand slam victory.

An abdominal injury forced the youngster to withdraw from the second round in Paris, but he is fully fit for his opening match at SW19, where he will face Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov today.

Edmund is ranked 101st in the world but he is eight years younger than Murray and says he is comfortable with being labelled the Scot’s natural successor.

“That is part of the territory, it is what it is,” said Edmund.

“Personally I don’t think Andy is going to be retiring any time soon, so when he eventually does retire, I’m going to be a lot older and probably more experienced.

“I’ll have learned how to deal with it. I think I have learned as I have grown up, it is part of British tennis, it is what comes with it. Wimbledon, the two weeks is very, very busy, but it’s not a bad problem, is it?

“It’s Wimbledon. I just get very, very excited about it. It’s part of the job.”

Edmund enjoys a close relationship with Murray, who has adopted a role as mentor for the young Yorkshireman.

Murray was pictured cheering on his compatriot during his French Open victory over Robert and has also let Edmund stay at his Miami apartment during trips to America.

“Andy has been really good. I can’t speak highly enough of him,” added Edmund.

“To have someone with what he’s done in your corner – he came and watched me at the French and that was really surprising. I didn’t expect that.

“He even invited me to his wedding. I really like him, he’s been good for me and he’s helped me with my game.

“He’s always been really positive with me. I don’t know how he is with the other guys.

“He says things like, ‘your game’s improving, I can see stuff you’ve been working on, I can see it’s helped’.”

Edmund was unable to attend Murray’s wedding in April as he had plans to play tennis in America, but he sent the British No 1 an unusual gift.

“I got him a caricature; it was of him and Kim with the two dogs by their side, Andy was in a kilt,” said Edmund.

“Do you remember that T-shirt that Kim wore, saying ‘Parental Advisory’? I had that on there as well.

“He said he found it really funny. Maybe he didn’t but he said he did.”

Murray has beaten Dolgopolov in three out of their four previous meetings and Edmund admits he will be asking the Scot for some tips on his first-round opponent.

“I will probably ask him a question but I haven’t spoken to him about it yet,” said Edmund.

“Dolgopolov is a tricky player. I like to watch him because he is so unpredictable.

“I remember watching him play Grigor Dimitrov last year in that five-setter (which Dimitrov won). It was a great match.

“He has won some matches on grass, but I have had a good year, a more consistent year from the start and I have been able to bring a better level to the court each time.

“I have been training really well and giving myself the possible chance to win.

“When I was a young kid it was a dream to play Wimbledon and now I am doing it.”