October 21, 2018
Kyle Edmund sank to his knees and let tears of joy stream down his cheeks.
What a year. First the Australian Open semi-final. Now, this. His first ATP title.
It was captured in dramatic style against one of the game’s great entertainers, Gael Monfils.
The crowd in Antwerp could never confidently have believed they knew which way the final was going.
First Monfils broke and took control of an ominous first set, won 6-3.
Then Edmund dug deep to force a second-set tie-break, won emphatically 7-2.
But as the deciding set edged towards a similar climax, the British number one flirted with crushing disappointment.
He was just two points from losing the match. Somehow he held his nerve and therefore his serve to force that third-set breaker.
And even then it was hard to separate the two. But Kyle showed he wanted it more at the business end.
It took just one match point to come through 7-4 and reach the milestone he has worked so hard to touch.
Now it is reality. Edmund isn’t just a 2018 Grand Slam semi-finalist, he is a tournament winner.
‘I’m obviously very happy, a lot of work goes into this, it’s just emotional,’ he explained.
So many near misses, so many failures to put together enough results to claim silverware.
‘Something always happened,’ he admitted. ‘It’s great to get this monkey off my back.’
And who is to say that he won’t now have the ability to break into the top ten?
Could he make the year-end finals now? Not impossible.
Who would rule out Edmund at the Grand Slams in 2019? The psychological barriers are falling one by one.
The Yorkshireman’s star is in the ascendancy.
Andy Murray, when he prepares for battle in the New Year, knows he has a rival on his doorstep now.
To become the best in the world once more, he must first become the best in Britain.
And the way Edmund is going, that won’t be easy to achieve.