Edmund Makes Statement with Win Over Djokovic in Madrid
Novak Djokovic’s indifferent run of form continued at the Madrid Open, as Britain’s Kyle Edmund held his nerve to claim a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win over the former world number one.
With doubts persisting over the return of Andy Murray, Edmund is flying the flag for the British men on the ATP Tour and he showed he is comfortable on clay with victory over Djokovic.
It was in no way a shock, as Edmund matched his more exalted opponent throughout and dug deep to win some big points when it mattered to secure his place in the last 16.
For Djokovic, it’s a case of two steps forward and one step back. He looked good, and spoke confidently about his game, after beating Kei Nishikori in the first round. But he could not carry the momentum forward against an opponent who is making his way in the game and ticking off scalps with great regularity.
After the first two sets were shared, it was all about whether Djokovic’s fragile confidence would stand up to the task.
The Serbian had chances to get the job done, but was made to pay a heavy price for failing to convert the three break points he crafted in the fifth game of the final set.
After holding serve from 0-40 down, Edmund did not look back and swiftly broke Djokovic before powering on to complete the win.
“Kyle was just better in the decisive moments, and I was a bit unlucky,” Djokovic said, per the ATP’s official website. “[At] 3-4, there were a couple of bad bounces, the lines that he hit, and the game is gone. [The] next game is new balls, and he hit all four first serves in. The match is gone. And I was pretty close but that’s tennis.”
It was a notable result for Edmund, as he had never taken a set off Djokovic in their three previous meetings – and after reaching the final in Marrakesh and quarter finals in Estoril, he will take confidence into a meeting with David Goffin in the third round.
Djokovic, who is without a tournament win since his victory on grass at Eastbourne last June, will now head back to the practice courts in a bid to rediscover the consistency that had him at the top of the world tree in 2016.
The French Open gets underway later in May and despite being priced at 7.00 by 188BET to win in Paris for a second time, the 30-year-old looks a world away from a major victory.