With Andy Murray not competing in the singles event, all the hopes of the home crowd in the men’s event are going to rest on Kyle Edmund. The Brit is in a decent spot to earn a quarter final place, especially with the loss of Stefanos Tsitsipas on Day 1 of the tournament. Edmund plays Fernando Verdasco for a spot in round three, where the winner plays an unseeded Ivo Karlovic or Thomas Fabbiano.
Verdasco was a quarter finalist in 2013 but has found it tough at Wimbledon since then, losing his opening round in four of the last five years. He avoided making it five from six with a straight sets win over Kamil Majchrzak, 6-4 6-4 6-4. The Spaniard did finally get going at Eastbourne, making the quarter finals following losses in his first two matches.
Edmund has fallen a bit after his strong 2018 with his opening round loss at the Australian Open making a huge dent on his ranking. He made the semi finals at Eastbourne, beating two fellow Brits before a straight sets loss to Taylor Fritz. In his opener at Wimbledon, it was a fairly routine victory for him over Jaume Munar. He was broken early but cruised from there, winning 6-4 6-4 6-4. He does however admit he needs to improve with tougher opponents ahead, starting with Verdasco. “I think I played the big moments reasonably well,” Edmund said after the match. “Apart from the end, when I gave him some hope. But I held and broke when I needed to. Overall it was pretty good. I need to improve some stuff. Too many mistakes. I can make it a lot easier for myself.”
Verdasco is 2-0 in meetings against Edmund, most recently winning in Rome this year in three sets. “I have to reflect and see what I can do better. Both [Munar and Verdasco] are completely different, righty, lefty. But both are very aggressive.” Edmund said. The grass should favour the Brit against an opponent who has found it tough at this tournament for a number of years now.
Prediction – Kyle Edmund in straight sets