French Open: Kyle Edmund takes ‘lots of physical positives’ into next round

Yorkshires Kyle Edmund celebrates first-round victory over Frances Jeremy Chardy in Paris (Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images).Yorkshires Kyle Edmund celebrates first-round victory over Frances Jeremy Chardy in Paris (Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images).
Yorkshires Kyle Edmund celebrates first-round victory over Frances Jeremy Chardy in Paris (Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images).
Beverley’s Kyle Edmund seized his opportunity to finish off a first-round marathon at the French Open with a sprint.

Edmund and his French opponent Jeremy Chardy had been forced off court by the fading light on Monday night at 5-5 in the deciding set after three hours and 55 minutes of power tennis in a tremendous atmosphere on Roland Garros’s bullring court.

With the French Open now the only grand slam tournament not to use a deciding-set tie-break, there was the prospect of a lengthy denouement, but instead Edmund broke the Chardy serve at the first time of asking, needing just seven minutes and 10 points to clinch a 7-6 (1) 5-7 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory.

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The result was a timely boost for the British No 1, who snapped a five-match losing streak dating back to early April.

Edmund said: “That was my aim [yesterday] just to come out really firing and almost impose myself on him. It was a good situation for me the more I thought about it.

“To come through that was great for me. I’m very happy with it. Great fight, good character, good composure, especially in an environment like that, and physically it was lots of positives for me. That was great to take forward.”

He next faces tricky Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, a hugely experienced clay-courter, as he attempts to reach the third round here for a third successive year.

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There was significantly less good news, though, for British No 2 Cameron Norrie, who fell to a humiliating defeat by French qualifier Elliot Benchetrit.

Norrie, who has climbed into the world’s top 50 this year, looked to have a kind draw against the world No 273, but while Benchetrit was inspired in front of his home crowd the 23-year-old was off colour from the start.

Dan Evans was unable to join Edmund in the second round despite making a very good fist of a tough draw against 23rd seed Fernando Verdasco.

Clay is by far Evans’s weakest surface and he had lost in the first round on both of his previous visits to Roland Garros while Spaniard Verdasco has made the fourth round on seven occasions.

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Evans matched him for most of the three-hour-and-25-minute encounter before feeling the pace in the fourth set, where he received treatment to his right calf, and eventually went down 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-2.

Naomi Osaka survived a major scare to beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and continue her winning grand slam run in the opening round of the French Open.

The 21-year-old from Japan won both the US Open and Australian Open titles to climb to the top of the world rankings and had spoken of her desire to win all four this year.

That looked a long way away when she lost the opening set to love in just 20 minutes, and Schmiedlova twice served for the match in the second set, but Osaka dug in to win 0-6 7-6 (4) 6-1.

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She is likely to have to raise her level significantly if she wants to progress any further with former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka her next opponent.

Osaka said: said: “I think this is the most nervous I have ever been my entire life during a match.

“I think you could see that in the first set. I was literally not hitting any balls in the court.

“For me, [yesterday] was weird because usually the nerves go away, but it kind of stayed the entire match.

“Then I just felt like it was a fight of willpower. I managed to win in the end.”