In a battle between the British No.1s the incumbent, Kyle Edmund struck quickly with an opening break and although Andy Murray opened up a number of chances in the following game, Edmund just seemed to be the sharper as he kept his single break lead to the end of the first set.
The second set saw Murray try and cling on to an eventual lost cause of a game after fending off three break points and it looked as though it would slip away quite quickly as Edmund broke again for a double break cushion.
There was the briefest of flurries of a comeback as Murray got one of the breaks back, but Edmund closed out his first win over Murray.
Murray assessed his performance frankly after the match, saying: “It was okay. It wasn’t anything special. Conditions were a little bit trickier today with the wind, which is something generally I enjoy playing in the wind, but, you know, when you have not played so many matches, wind makes things a little bit tricky.
“Obviously when you’re sharp in all of your movements and timing the ball really well, you know, I have always felt I have used the wind to my advantage.
“Today I don’t think I dealt with it as well as Kyle did. And, yeah, I did some things okay; some things not so well.”
He admitted after his match against Stan Wawrinka at the start of the tournament that it had taken maybe an additional 12 or so hours to pull up well, but the matches he has played here have been a lot quicker, and certainly faster than he would expect to play at Wimbledon.
“Neither of the matches were physically that demanding. They weren’t particularly tough physically. So I feel all right.
“I’ll chat with my team in the next couple of days. I’ll probably have tomorrow off and chat a little bit more with them about that tomorrow.”
He confirmed he had no plans to try and fit in an exhibition at the Hurlingham club, which has sometimes been a port of call in the run up to Wimbledon, admitting that he did not find them particularly helpful in terms of telling him more about the state of his game.
No risk, wants to feel like he can do himself justice
He did, however, confirm that there is no further risk to his recovering hip should he choose to play Wimbledon, which starts next week.
He said: “There is no risk [to] me playing tennis just now. That’s not really the point. It’s just whether I feel like I’m able to do myself justice. Right now — two weeks ago I practiced with Kyle and I didn’t win a game. That was the first set or points that I played in, well, in six months basically, since I was basically playing to try and get ready for the Aussie Open.
“So, I have made decent improvements the last couple of weeks and obviously have been, you know, somewhat competitive in the matches that I have played. But, you know, so I don’t just want to go out there to just play. I want to be able to compete properly. And if I don’t feel like I can do that, then I won’t play.
“If I do and physically I feel ready, mentally I’m in the right place, then I’ll go for it, but there’s no danger about me injuring my hip more than there would be at any other stage. Obviously I could slip and fall and hurt myself, but that’s got nothing to do with my decision whether I play the tournament or not.”
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