Edmund suffers in Australian Open exit

Kyle Edmund
Kyle Edmund

Beverley’s Kyle Edmund was hampered by injury as he lost in five sets to world number 81 Damir Dzumhur in the first round of the Australian Open.

Edmund twice led by a set in baking hot conditions at Melbourne Park but a problem with his left leg helped Dzumhur fight back to win 1-6 7-6 4-6 6-3 6-1.

The British number three first called the trainer after the seventh game in the third set and while he managed to serve out for a 2-1 lead, it was one-way traffic thereafter.

With temperatures reaching 33C, Edmund admitted before the match he had little experience of five-setters in sweltering heat.

The 21-year-old, ranked 88th in the world, was able to demonstrate his impressive striking ability early on and he played like a dream in a 26-minute opening set, driving his forehand into the corners and breaking twice for the loss of just one game.

Dzumhur found his rhythm to seize an early break in the second after Edmund dropped a backhand into the net, but he fought back to force a tie-break, although Dzumhur held his nerve to level at one set all.

Rediscovering his groove, Edmund broke early in the third but his momentum was halted at 4-3, as he called on the trainer to massage a problem with his left hip.

After a lengthy delay, he served out the set, but the pain was clearly still causing trouble as the trainer again gave him treatment at the change of ends.

Whether the greater effect was physical or psychological, Edmund lost his way in the fourth, hardly winning a point on his opponent’s serve and twice losing his own as Dzumhur cruised into the decider.

Now it was the Bosnian who could smell victory as Edmund, wincing and clutching his thigh, gave away five break points at 1-1 before succumbing on the last to hand his opponent the decisive advantage.

Dzumhur never looked back, storming into a 5-1 lead, and as Edmund could barely make it to the baseline to serve his final game, a backhand into the net confirmed defeat.