French Open: Kyle Edmund pleased with his Paris execution

UP AND RUNNING: Yorkshire's Kyle Edmund hits a return to Australia's Alex de Minaur during their first round match at the French Open. Picture: AP/Christophe Ena.
UP AND RUNNING: Yorkshire's Kyle Edmund hits a return to Australia's Alex de Minaur during their first round match at the French Open. Picture: AP/Christophe Ena.
0
Have your say

BEVERLEY’S Kyle Edmund roared into the second round of the French Open as he brushed aside Australian youngster Alex De Minaur.

British No 1 Edmund, looking to build on his stunning run to the Australian Open semi-final in January, overpowered his 19-year-old opponent and dispatched him in straight sets.

Beverley's Kyle Edmund celebrates a point during his French Open first-round win against Alex De Minaur, of Australia (Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images).

Beverley's Kyle Edmund celebrates a point during his French Open first-round win against Alex De Minaur, of Australia (Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images).

He broke serve in the first game of the match, took the opening set in just half an hour and went on to wrap up a fine 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory.

“I played pretty well. I was just waiting to get going, anticipating, wanting to execute my game well,” added Edmund.

“Once you get on it, it’s good to really execute it well, especially against a guy like Alex where it can get quite tough easily if you don’t play well.

“So I was pleased with how I managed my game. I did the controllables really well in terms of my game and serving well and when I am on the front foot, not laying back on the point.”

Once you get on it, it’s good to really execute it well, especially against a guy like Alex where it can get quite tough easily if you don’t play well.

Kyle Edmund

It was an impressive display against a potentially tricky opponent and bodes well for another run deep into a grand slam for Edmund.

De Minaur is a highly-rated player and deceptively powerful despite his small frame.

But Edmund, now looking every inch a world top-20 player, landed the first blow and then never let up.

The early break set the tone, while another in the fifth game of the second set, after De Minaur pushed a forehand wide, prompted the youngster to take a ball from his pocket and smash it out of Court Three in frustration.

HELLO AGAIN: Serena Williams celebrates defeating Kristyna Pliskova in the first round at the French Open. Picture: AP/Michel Euler

HELLO AGAIN: Serena Williams celebrates defeating Kristyna Pliskova in the first round at the French Open. Picture: AP/Michel Euler

De Minaur did break back to level at 4-4, but Edmund hit back immediately and held serve to take a 2-0 lead.

It was a ruthless display from Edmund, with breaks in the first and last games of the third set setting up a second-round meeting with Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

Serena Williams returned to the grand slam scene with victory over Kristyna Pliskova in the first round. The former world No 1 had not played a major tournament since winning a 23rd title at the 2017 Australian Open, having given birth to her daughter in September.

Her first grand slam action in over 15 months had the Paris fashionistas in a whirl as she walked on court in a black bodysuit with a bright pink belt.

Williams revealed: “I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess, kind of.

“I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”

Understandably, this was not quite a superhero performance. Williams is short of match sharpness and the footwork is not quite there yet.

But the 36-year-old’s serve remains a formidable weapon, helping her take the first set after a tie-break.

The pair exchanged breaks in the second set, with Williams grabbing the decisive one in the seventh game before sealing a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory – not bad going for her first match on clay in two years.

Maria Sharapova lost six games in a row and then won the next six as she got her return to Roland Garros off to a successful start.

The Russian appeared to be cruising at 6-1 3-1 ahead, but Holland’s Richel Hogenkamp suddenly had her on the ropes, taking the second set and racing 3-0 ahead in the decider.

But Sharapova rediscovered her game in the nick of time to reel off half a dozen games for a 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory.

Rafael Nadal admitted he may have taken it a little too easy as he began his bid for an 11th French Open title.

Nadal’s latest Roland Garros campaign is up and running after a straight-sets – but far from straightforward – win over Simone Bolelli.

The Spaniard – top seed, worldNo 1, reigning champion and red-hot favourite for another Paris crown – had to return on Tuesday morning to finish his first-round clash against the lucky loser from Italy.

Nadal had taken the first two sets in typically ominous style, but then trailed 3-0 in the third when the rain came.

Nadal broke straight back on the resumption, but Bolelli did not let him have things his own way, threatening another break at 4-3.

Bolelli then forced four set points in a marathon tie-break, but the 16-time grand slam winner got over the line 6-4 6-3 7-6 (11/9).