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French Open: Kyle Edmund is braced to fly flag in face of fiery Fognini

Kyle Edmund of Great Britain plays a forehand during the mens singles first round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia during day three of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. (Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Kyle Edmund of Great Britain plays a forehand during the mens singles first round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia during day three of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. (Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Kyle Edmund has vowed not to let the antics of French Open third-round opponent Fabio Fognini distract him from the task in hand.

British No 1 Edmund is attempting to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros for the first time in his career.

You know he’s an emotional type of player, that’s just the way he is as a personality.

Kyle Edmund

Standing in the way of the 16th seed is Italian Fognini, a player renowned for his volatile temper who was thrown out of last year’s US Open for shouting obscenities at a female umpire.

But Fognini, seeded 18, is also a clay-court specialist who has beaten none other than 10-time Paris champion Rafael Nadal on three occasions.

Yorkshireman Edmund has never played the 31-year-old before, but he said: “You just know what he’s like from watching matches.

“You know he’s an emotional type of player, that’s just the way he is as a personality.

“But the tour is aware of all players and what their attitudes are like or the way they go about things.

“That’s the way he operates, but that doesn’t necessarily make a difference in terms of your thought process. You’ve still got to go in and do your thing.

Edmund reached the semi-finals of the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, in January.

He knows he will have to be at his best to progress to the fourth round today.

“In terms of his game style he’s very happy with the ball in, he likes to build points. He plays a very good clay-court game, he likes to have time behind the baseline, he doesn’t hug it too much,” said Edmund.

“But he plays with a lot of shape and spin and when the ball is short he moves up, and I think has pretty easy power on the clay.

“So it will be one of those where you do problem-solving on the court, so when you get on the court, you always learn from there. It’s different watching video. You can only really get a proper sense (when) you step on the court and see him play. So I think that would be probably be similar for both of us.

“But, yes, he’s a good player coming on the clay court and you’ve just got to be ready to go and then give it your best.”