Kyle Edmund impressed on debut at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy tournament in Bucharest, defeating Lukas Rosol 7-6(4), 7-6(5), making a winning start to his clay court campaign in 2016.
Strong starts from both on serve
The pair had never met before prior to this match and both remained strong on serve throughout the opening set. The closest either player came to dropping serve was on the world number 92’s serve, having been pushed to 30-30 in his opening service game and pushed to deuce in the 12th game. Edmund, who scored an impressive win over Jiri Vesely in Miami last month before falling to Novak Djokovic, came through both service games without having to face a break point.
Rosol, who has two ATP World Tour titles to his name, including the title here in 2013, looked very confident on serve, holding two games to love making him the favorite heading into the first set tiebreak.
The Brit takes the breaker
It was the British number three who got off to the stronger start, spurred on by the more difficult hold in his last service game as he took a 2-0 lead. The players headed to the change of ends all square at 3-3, but it was the 21-year-old who broke away once again, claiming the opener on his first set point by seven points to four.
Edmund looked to kick on at the start of the second set, holding the opening game on serve to love, but the world number 92 was in for a tough mental test, as his opponent, ranked world number 61, started to hit back.
The Czech came through a hold to 30, the first as part of a four-game winning streak. Rosol broke Edmund in the next game and subsequently held serve to love, before securing the double break to put him firmly in control of the second set. In the sixth game, the world number 61 faced a break point for the first time, but after saving the first, he could not save the second as the Brit clawed his way back into the set.
The Brit comes back from the brink
After a couple of routine service holds from both players, Edmund came under pressure once more trailing 5-3. Rosol took a 0-30 lead which then enabled him to earn a set point chance. After saving that point and holding serve, it proved to be the turning point for the British young gun.
The 2013 champion had a further two set points on his own serve but Edmund resisted, battling back to win four points in a row to level at 5-5. Rosol let another chance slip by at 0-30 on the Brit’s serve, before finding himself down two match points. This time, it was the Czech’s turn to fight back from the brink, saving three match points in all to take us into another tiebreak.
Edmund put that disappointment behind him and maintained his exceptional tiebreak record since the turn of the year. Leading 6-3, two more match points went by, but the Brit secured the match 7-6(4), 7-6(5).
The world number 91 has won six out of the seven tiebreaks he has played since he beat Andy Murray in the Tiebreak Tens final in December last year, an excellent record which he can carry forward as the clay court season continues. The Brit will go on to face fourth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the next round.