By William Hill
Last Updated: 18th May 2018
Sports followers around the world would have been blindsided by Edmund’s sudden rise. When his name comes up in conversation, only the dedicated tennis followers know who he is. You are either met with a knowing nod of the head or a raised eyebrow when bandying his name about.
The long and short of it is that Kyle Edmund is an exceptionally good tennis player. Edmund is so good that he currently occupies the British number one tennis position. Getting to the top of the men’s UK rankings is as hard as you can imagine. Since 1996 only three men have been able to sit at the summit. That is largely down to Andy Murray having been atop the rankings for the past 12 years. It’s easy to see why Edmund is causing a stir. After all, there’s a new kid on the block, and he’s very strong with a racket in hand. Andy Murray warms up on court.
What Kyle Edmund is currently doing is impressive to say the very least. By his own admission, Edmund said he wished it had been a fairer playing field.
Murray’s Injuries and Edmund’s Improvement
When commenting on becoming number one, Edmund showed how down to earth he is. There was no rambling on and giving a long-winded explanation of how he managed to get to the top. Getting to the point, Edmund said was humbled by the fact he had become number one. However, he was under no illusions that Murray’s nine-month layoff had a part to play.
“I hope to battle it out with him in a more legitimate fashion in years to come,” was his official line. How refreshing it is to hear a sportsman say what everyone is thinking. It’s easy to see how a few players on the circuit would have run with it and burst into a spontaneous acceptance speech. The only problem being that there wouldn’t be the ‘wrap it up’ music to save us all the pleasure of hearing it. For that, we already owe Kyle Edmund our sincere thanks.
If Andy Murray was considered sullen before his injury, then the nine-month lay off wouldn’t have done anything to improve his mood. Without a doubt, it’s been a frustrating time for Murray. The time on the sideline has seen him drop to 29th in the world rankings. It’s been quite a plummet for the Scot, as he was number one in the world less than two years ago. It’s hard to say for sure whether we are witnessing a changing in the British tennis guard. Wimbledon’s Centre Court.
Andy Murray is still the favourite in Wimbledon betting of the two. That suggests Edmund’s stay at number one won’t be that long. Regardless of what happens at SW19, Murray will struggle to get back the top spot. Changes at the top are not always forthcoming and require time to take place.
Edmund’s Quest to Stay Number One
The Johannesburg-born Edmund has shown how good a sport he is with his graceful acceptance of number one. Make no mistake though, he will now be focused on staying there. A lot of what Edmund is doing off the court is ensuring he has further success on it.
Edmund has decided to swap London for the Bahamas. The warmer weather and the use of Lleyton Hewitt’s practice academy will help a lot. Being stateside will also give Edmund a lot more confidence going into the US Open. He’s far from the favourite for the US Open in tennis betting but his game is trending in the right direction.
Big performances at the Grand Slams will keep Andy Murray at arm’s length. Edmund will know he will have a fight on his hands when Murray returns, as his mood will be as gloomy as a grey December day in Glasgow. The Scot will look to use the past year’s disappointment as motivation to haul Edmund in.
Moving Up in the World
When Kyle Edmund set out for the Australian Open in January, he wasn’t living beyond his means. Edmund flew economy class and his legs paid the price for the long haul to Australia. The Englishman was comforted by the fact that there was going to be lots of time for running around. It would be Edmund that dictated how much running he would do on the courts of Melbourne.
He finished off a superb campaign with a loss in the semi-finals. Life would change considerably after that and the changes would be felt immediately. Starting with a bit more leg room and fewer kicks in the back as he flew home business class. Andy Murray during Round 1 of the Australian Open.
The 23-year-old’s trajectory continues to soar. On the day he became number one, British Airways swooped in to make him an ambassador. However, with the extra attention comes greater scrutiny. The Brits are tennis mad and smother their champions. England and Scotland haven’t always seen eye to eye, but that hasn’t stopped the English adopting Andy Murray. Although, he is always a bit more Scottish than British when he loses.
These are all the pressures waiting for Kyle Edmund as he carries the number one British title. There will be a direct correlation between how well he deals with those pressures and how long he is number one for. Murray is only 30 years old which, thanks to Federer, can still be considered as being in the infancy of a career. It is advantage Edmund, but any unforced errors will see Murray surge ahead again.