Edmund must be ready for new era of men’s tennis
Andy Murray’s impending retirement from the sport will leave a void for British tennis to fill, especially during Wimbledon in the coming years.
The Scot has been forced to call time on his illustrious career due to a troublesome hip injury, although he may be able to muster one final crack at Wimbledon this year if he is able to manage his ailment. However, Murray is unlikely to be anywhere near his best form to challenge for a third crown at the All England Club.
Kyle Edmund is the next hope for men’s tennis in the United Kingdom, given his rise up the world rankings over the last year. The 24-year-old made his mark on the world of tennis in 2018 with a run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. However, his tournament ended in the first round this year in a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Tomas Berdych. Edmund would have hoped to have built on his surge last year, but his premature exit in Melbourne has continued a trend of underwhelming performances at Grand Slams.
Last year, Edmund was knocked out in the third round of Wimbledon, failing to reach the second week of the competition. The Brit did face the eventual winner of the tournament, Novak Djokovic, and did win the first set, although the quality of the 14-time Grand Slam champion shone through to advance into the fourth round. Edmund has to improve his record against the elite players in the game to continue his trajectory up the world rankings.
Therefore, when he meets Djokovic, Roger Federer, or Rafael Nadal, it will have to be in the latter stages of competitions rather than the back-end of the first week. There is time for the 24-year-old to improve his standing ahead of Wimbledon, though the odds for his triumph are not encouraging at 100/1; however, stranger things have occurred in major tournaments.
There is an opportunity to be grasped by Edmund along with the other young players on the circuit. Murray’s career looks to be over, while the era of dominance of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic will wind down soon enough unless they can continue to defy Father Time. Edmund is positioned 14th in the world and is not far off from securing a place in the top 10, requiring a couple of strong runs in ATP events along with a Grand Slam to achieve the feat.
Outside of the big three (formerly the big four), any player is capable of beating anyone. Edmund proved so in his run to the Australian Open semi-finals when he beat Kevin Anderson in the first round in a five-set thriller before defeating number three seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
Men’s tennis will soon be entering a new era where the monopoly on the major crowns will be lifted after the dominance Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. Edmund must ensure he is in place and ready to capitalise, and gaining experience of reaching the second week of slams outside of the Australian Open has to be on his agenda for 2019.
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