After a great debut at the ATP 500 in Beijing where Edmund gave Murray a little pause for thought in their quarter-final, Edmund finds himself the main draw of just his sixth Masters event, and came through a tough fight once more against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic to earn his spot in the main draw.
He faced the Serbian in the Davis Cup quarter-final, beating him to earn hero-status in carrying the team by winning his two singles, and there is no doubt he is playing with a lot more confidence, backed up with a solid run to the fourth round of the US Open this year.
His Asian Swing has been no less stellar, earning two main draw places through tough qualifying fields, and hopefully he feels both match fit and court-sharp as he faces Delbonis. The Argentine has already scored one victory over a Brit this year, taking out Andy Murray in Indian Wells but it would be no exaggeration to say that his strengths lie more on the clay than hard courts over the course of the year.
Still he has experience behind him while Edmund has now leap-frogged Dan Evans and beaten him to the mighty 5-0. A lot will depend on the speed of the court for Delbonis to make headway – he prefers the slightly slower hard courts, which allows him to play a little more aggressively.
Of course Edmund’s serve and clubbing forehand at the moment make up his greatest weapons and when they are on, he can be a thorn in anyone’s side. What he needs to develop now is the consistency to go toe-to-toe on the main tour week in, week out.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets.
Edmund and Delbonis are scheduled second on Union Pay 3 Court, not before 2:30pm (7:30am BST).
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