Edmund Rallies Past Shapovalov Down Under
Brit Kyle Edmund started his 2018 season with a come-from-behind victory at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Tuesday. The 22-year-old Edmund came from a set down against #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov to advance 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4.
Edmund had trailed Shapovalov in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-2 but the Brit saved five of six break points to prevail in two hours and 30 minutes. Edmund struggled serving in the opener, landing fewer than 50 per cent of his first serves. But he upped his level in the second and third sets, and served out the first-round match with his fifth ace.
"[In the] first match of the year, you don't really know what to expect, so it's good to come through like that. To come through a tough match as well… you have to play good tennis in pressure situations. To beat Denis [Shapovalov] in this match is good. I’m pleased with it," said Edmund.
"Everything wasn't quite flowing together but I kept going. I served a lot better in the second and third and generally... I felt a little bit more comfortable."
He will next meet reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung, who upset fifth seed Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-6(1). Muller blasted 19 aces but Chung took his chances on Muller's second serve, winning 64 per cent of those points (18/28).
Muller was playing in his first match since the Moselle Open in Metz in mid-September. The 34-year-old ended his 2017 season early because of tendonitis in his serving elbow (left).
In other action, #NextGenATP American Michael Mmoh celebrated his first ATP World Tour victory, beating Argentina's Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old Mmoh had been 0-7 in tour-level matches, but he showed no signs of nerve as he served for the match.
Mmoh held to love for the milestone victory. He will next face eighth seed Mischa Zverev of Germany in the second round.
In singles action, Denis Istomin produced a come-from-behind win to kick-start his 2018 season as he upset seventh seed Damir Dzumhur 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2. Istomin managed to break serve on six occasions in the two hour, 25 minute first round which set up a meeting with American Jared Donaldson.