It has been a second year in a row where British players NOT named Andy Murray have pushed themselves on the nation’s conscience and this year it was Edmund’s turn. His victory over the big-serving John Isner will have given him the confidence to know he can take the fight to the best.
However, Djokovic, arguably well rested after a walk-over and an early retirement seemed to be in steam-rolling mood, roaring out of the blocks as he dropped just three games in the first two sets.
However the summer, despite his win in Toronto has been perhaps one of his most shaky in quite a while. A third round defeat in Wimbledon, a first round defeat in Rio and twice requiring the trainer on court to give his elbow a workover still suggests that Djokovic is working his way in to the tournament.
The two rounds lost will have given him more time to get that troublesome limb under control ahead of the second week, where the matches should be far more challenging.
But what of Edmund? Without a doubt, his success at carrying the GB team in the Davis Cup quarter-final has helped with his self-belief, and combined with the turnaround in Dan Evans‘ attitude and his results, almost putting out third seed Stan Wawrinka gives GB Captain Leon Smith a glorious group of players to choose from.
There is a lot for Edmund to be proud of. He was certainly not expected to get an opening win over Richard Gasquet, who was visibly under par after a year beset with injury woes. He took full advantage of being able to command his serve/forehand combo against Isner to good effect.
There will be a lot to learn for the next time.
Edmund can be expended to rise to career high just outside the Top 50 when the new rankings come out after the US Open, and is chasing Evans, also looking at a career high as they both bid to crack the Top 50 before the year is out.
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