May 31, 2018
British number one Kyle Edmund stormed into the third round of the French Open by beating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-0 1-6 6-2 6-3 after a bizarre rollercoaster of a tennis ride.
The fact that Edmund found the answers to the questions he was suddenly posed points to a new maturity, though.
And with every passing match, Edmund’s credentials for Wimbledon 2018 look increasingly convincing.
Edmund only needed 27 minutes to bagel a blistering first set against the world number 45.
But Fucsovics hit back almost as emphatically, leaving the Brit temporarily shell-shocked.
“The second set is something to learn from but I’m happy to come through,” Edmund said.
“When I’m playing at my best it’s very good but I can’t play like that the whole time. When I’m not playing my best, I have to find a way to win. This year I’ve done that a lot better.”
He is the last British player left in the singles after Cameron Norrie lost to Lucas Pouille and Heather Watson was also beaten.
Edmund faces an even stiffer test next time out. He plays Fabio Fognini, a fiery clay-court specialist. The flamboyant Italian has even beaten the 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal twice on his favoured surface.
So Edmund really will have to be at the top of his game to progress any further on the red stuff. But he has already added to his growing reputation this week, before his thoughts start to turn to the Wimbledon grass.
Reaching the last 32 equals Edmund’s best performance at Roland Garros. He lost to the tall South African, Kevin Anderson in a superb match last year.
Kyle reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year – his first appearance in the last four of a Grand Slam – and climbed into the world’s top 20 for the first time.
Some think he could even give Andy Murray a run for his money at Wimbledon this year. What a match-up that would be! Two Brits going at it, an enthusiastic crowd roaring them on, at the historic home of tennis.
Meanwhile Maria Sharapova, who knows what it feels like to take the Wimbledon title, edged closer to a third French crown by beating Donna Vekic 7-5, 6-4.
She doesn’t look back to her best just yet, even if she is back in the world’s top thirty. Sharapova served for the first set at 5-3 but allowed Vekic right back in before sealing it in time to avoid a tie-break.
The second set saw Maria vulnerable on serve, and yet she had enough grit to win through reasonably comfortably in the end.