BEVERLEY’S Kyle Edmund admits he took extra caution with the stomach injury that forced him out of the French Open as he was desperate not to miss Wimbledon.
Edmund clinched his first grand slam victory at Roland Garros with a thrilling five-set win over Frenchman Stephane Robert, but the 20-year-old Yorkshireman then withdrew from his second-round match against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal problem.
After a disappointing end to his promising showing in Paris, Edmund also pulled out of Queen’s before suffering a first-round defeat to Tunisian Malek Jaziri on his return to action in Nottingham earlier this week.
The young Briton took the opportunity for extra grass-court practice yesterday at the BNP Paribas Open, an exhibition event at Hurlingham.
While he lost 7-5 6-3 to veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, Edmund came through the match unscathed.
“My stomach is a lot better,” Edmund said.
“I wasn’t going to come back unless I was sure it was right, hence why I had to pull out of Queen’s.
“I could have maybe played Queen’s, but I hadn’t played enough points to really feel confident it would hold up.
“It was a good call and in Nottingham I had no problem, (yesterday) I had no problem, so it’s a real positive I’m healthy, that’s the main thing.”
Edmund added: “It was really tough to pull out of the French Open after I had just won my first match.
“It was such a high, it was the last thing I wanted to do.
“But I had good people around me and I’m still learning. The experienced people said if I played on it, it would get worse and I might miss Wimbledon.
“I didn’t want to miss Wimbledon obviously so I decided to pull out.”
Edmund will play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round at Wimbledon as he looks to reach round two at SW19 for the first time.
The pair have never faced each other before but Dolgopolov is a clever player on grass, as proven by the 26-year-old’s victory over Rafael Nadal at Queen’s last week.
“He is a tricky player. I like to watch him because he is so unpredictable,” Edmund said.
“I remember watching him play (Grigor) Dimitrov last year in a five-setter, 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.
“When I was a young kid it was a dream to play Wimbledon and now I am doing it.”