Kyle Edmund came back from a set down to beat Alexander Bublik
He will meet World No.1 Novak Djokovic, unbeaten in 2020, trailing 5-1 in their head to heads
He beat the Serbian at 2018 Mutua Madrid Open on clay
NEW YORK, USA – Kyle Edmund came back after a sluggish start to defeat Alexander Bublik. He will need to play the tennis of his life against World No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Kyle Edmund d. Alexander Bublik 2-6 7-5 7-5 6-0
Kyle Edmund overcame a sluggish start to defeat Alexander Bublik. The creative and unpredictable Kazakh was among the top-10 players at 2019 US Open in terms of percentage of points with winners and net points rate. An almost impossible mission awaits him in the second round, beat the unbeaten but not unbeatable Novak Djokovic.
Edmund won 56% of points on second serve as he completed a solid comeback victory to extend his US Open win-loss record to 6-4. Despite delivering 35 winners to Bublik’s 53, he managed to end the match with 30 unforced errors to 35.
Aggressive enough to exactly match his opponent’s points played and won at net, Edmund felt annoyed in the first set, when nothing seemed to work. Bublik, coming off a first-round loss at the Western & Southern Open, dominated the proceedings and sealed it in 34 minutes producing no more than four unforced errors.
The Brit announced his breakthrough winning a jaw-dropping rally at 6-5 in the second set featuring massive forehands, challenging runs, recoveries and a final pass. In those moments, you have to miss the crowd. The Kazakh spurned an opportunity to serve out for the third set, and completely cracked afterwards as Edmund won eight straight games to complete his tenth win of the season on hard-courts.
Facing Djokovic looks like the ultimate challenge for a player. The World No.1 extended his unbeaten record to 24-0 this season. He has won 27 straight matches since Davis Cup Finals last November. Last January, he brought to 16-0 his record in Australian Open semifinals and finals, becoming just the second man in history to win a Grand Slam title in three different decades after legendary Australian Ken Rosewall.
One of players in Open Era with more than 900 Tour-level wins, Djokovic tied Rafael Nadal’s records as he clinched his 35th ATP Masters 1000 title in his 51st final at the Western & Southern Open, moved from Ohio to New York. He has won all 9 different ATP Masters 1000s twice.
Djokovic will meet Edmund for the seventh time. The Brit beat him once, at 2018 Mutua Madrid Masters, winning a single set in the remaining clashes. On hard-courts, the Serbian is 4-0 (9-0 in sets) against the former No.14.
When he defeated the Serbian in Madrid, he offered a composed performance hitting a huge streak of winners to upset Djokovic. His patterns weren’t unusual, he used to back up the serve with his booming forehands, although he managed to seal key points with flowing down-the-line backhands. He has simply to play the best tennis of his life, like he did two years ago, to have a chance to create the first great shock of the tournament.
Having no fans on the stands could help the underdogs like Edmund to stay calmer, although a champion like Djokovic seems completely self-absorbed and largely untouched by the muted atmosphere.
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