Edmund targeting strong season finish

Published by Leigh Rogers

FINDING FORM: Kyle Edmund is into the China Open quarterfinals; Getty Images
Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund is hoping to recapture his early season form and finish 2018 on a positive note.

Brit Kyle Edmund is sitting at a career-high ranking of No.16 – but he is not completely satisfied.

With three match wins from his past five tournaments, Edmund arrived at this week’s China Open determined to end his season with better results.

“Being at a career-high is always a positive, it shows you are going in the right direction,” the 23-year-old told Tennismash.

“I feel like I’ve improved from this time last year too, which is great.

“(But) I felt like I had a very sort of shaky US Open series, so I am very keen to make sure I can finish the season as strong as I can and not let it fade away.”

Following a first-round exit to Italian Paolo Lorenzi at the US Open, Edmund embarked upon a three-week training block. After twice being sidelined with illness this season, Edmund believes this impacted his recent results.

“It put me behind a little bit and I’ve had to play catch-up with my fitness,” he admitted. “So I’ve tried to build up my strength and put a really good base in.”

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The 23-year-old’s fitness has been tested early at the China Open, winning three-set battles against German Peter Gojowczyk and Italian Matteo Berrettini to advance to the quarterfinals.

“It gives me in confidence and belief in both my body and game, as well as knowing that I can produce some really good tennis under pressure,” Edmund said of the close matches.

Aiming to win a first ATP singles title, Edmund now plays Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic for a semifinal place.

The Brit is hoping to recapture his early season form, which helped him sensationally reach the Australian Open semifinals. Ranked No.49 at the time, Edmund defeated seeded opponents Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov in an impressive breakthrough.

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Rapid improvement saw Edmund selected as a “captain’s pick” for last month’s Laver Cup. He was a member of the victorious Team Europe, which also included Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Edmund relished the unique atmosphere of the event, which gave him a much-needed confidence boost heading into the final weeks of the season.

“I played one match and won it against (Jack) Sock. I played decent and when it came to the match tiebreak, I stepped up which was great,” Edmund said.

“The Laver Cup was a good opportunity for me to see where I’m at on a big stage and it was an once-in-a-lifetime experience getting to play on a tennis court at the Bulls Arena.

“It was lots of fun and a great experience to share with team-mates. When you are at tournaments, you say hello but you spend limited time together. Getting to spend more time with them and getting to know them a bit better was really good fun. Just having dinners with them, talking tennis as well as other things was interesting too. It was a positive experience for sure.”

And a satisfying one too, no doubt. More satisfying still would be a deep run at the China Open. And he’s on his way.

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