The home crowd will be firmly behind Kyle Edmund on Saturday evening when the Brit takes on Novak Djokovic to close out the Centre Court schedule. With all singles women out and Andy Murray absent, he remains the sole hope of success for many in the crowd. The winner will play an unseeded player in round four – either Frances Tiafoe or Karen Khachanov.
Edmund will finally have the opportunity to announce himself in a big way to the casual viewer if he were to win this one. While he is already a grand slam semi finalist and now British No.1, it will be his Wimbledon success (or lack thereof) that helps him break through into the mainstream. He has toughed out two straight sets victories so far, beating Bradley Klahn and Alex Bolt to make it to last 32. With both outside the top 150, it will be a huge jump in quality on the opposite side of the court.
Djokovic’s shock loss to Marco Cecchinato in Paris doesn’t look to have impacted the Queens finalist too much. He has been dominant through two rounds this week, crushing Tennys Sandgren and Horacio Zeballos for the loss of a combined 12 games. “I’m very pleased with the way I played both matches, especially today. I thought my serve was working really well. Playing on grass, obviously having 10-plus aces in a match, it’s not a common feeling that I get to experience a lot. It definitely helps in the game itself. It helps me relax in other parts of my game.” He picked up a minor niggle in the win over Zeballos but there is no suggestion as of yet that it is anything to worry about for the Serbian.
Edmund will hope to repeat the magic of his Madrid win over Djokovic, where he was victorious in three sets. Prior to that, they had met three times before without Edmund winning a set. It’s clear to see his improvement over the past year with Djokovic speaking highly of him and his coaching arrangement with Mario Ancic. “Kyle is very devoted. He has very good ethics, a hard worker, puts in the hours necessary on the court and in the gym to get himself to best possible shape.” he said.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in five sets