Kyle Edmund ran out a convincing winner as he booked his place in the second round of the Aegon Open after defeating Lukas Rosol in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
This encounter was the players second meeting of the year, with the British number three winning their match on clay in Bucharest in straight sets 7-6(4), 7-6(5) back in April. Rosol was making his first appearance in Nottingham, while Edmund was competing at the Aegon Open for the fourth successive year, reaching the second round on one occasion in 2013.
Edmund was full of confidence heading into the match coming off the back of a fine run to the quarterfinals at the Queen’s Club last week, where he lost to eventual champion Andy Murray. The Brit is now up to a career-high ranking of number 68 in the Emirates ATP Rankings as a result of his recent performances, which included a three set win over top 20 player Gilles Simon in the first round in London.
The players resist pressure on serve in the first set
Both players struck double faults to put themselves under pressure at 30-30 but recovered to hold their opening service games. The Czech had half a chance to break the Brit in the first game at 30-30, but the world number 68 fired down an ace and an unreturnable serve to move 3-2 in front.
It was the Czech who appeared to have cracked first, producing three consecutive double faults. However, Rosol responded, hitting four successive unreturnable serves on his way to holding. Comfortable service holds were hard to come by as Edmund trailed 0-30 and was pushed to deuce in the seventh game. The British number three held to stay in front at 4-3.
Edmund takes the opening set and marches on in the second
After missed opportunities throughout on the Czech’s serve, Edmund struck gold at the crucial time, forcing Rosol into an error as he finally broke the world number 75 to win the opening set 6-4 in 37 minutes.
Edmund had a few break point opportunities in the fourth game of the second set. Rosol saved two chances with unreturned serves, but a double fault handed the Brit a pivotal break of serve. When attempting to consolidate the break the Brit was faced with a lengthy service game, saving a break point as he eventually prevailed, finishing with a backhand volley cross-court winner to move 4-1 in front.
Edmund held to love in the seventh game to close in on victory at 5-2. The Brit was just two points away on Rosol’s serve at 15-30 but had to serve out the match himself, which he did successfully, wrapping up a 6-4, 6-3 win. The British number three will face the fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round, third up on Court 2 on Tuesday.