Kyle Edmund only won 40% of points on his first serve in the second setAustralian Open 2019Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 JanuaryCoverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19…
|Australian Open 2019|
|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January|
|Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.|
British men’s number one Kyle Edmund is out of the Australian Open after a disappointing 6-3 6-0 7-5 first-round loss to Tomas Berdych.
The 24-year-old, a semi-finalist last year, appeared heavy-legged in the heat against the Czech who looked back to his best after an injury-hit 2018.
Edmund only managed one break point against the Berdych serve all match.
Elsewhere, compatriot Dan Evans won his first Grand Slam match since his return from a drugs ban.
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The 28-year-old beat fellow qualifier Tatsuma Ito 7-5 6-1 7-6 (10-8) of Japan, throwing his racquet in joy at the end.
Evans returned from a one-year ban in April 2018 after testing positive for cocaine during 2017’s Barcelona Open.
“Winning matches are things I’ve missed,” Evans told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.
“After the tournament I’ll look back. I’m looking forward to getting out there again.
“I really enjoy Melbourne and I felt pretty comfortable today. It was hot out there, but was cooling down towards the end.”
Evans could face Roger Federer next if the 20-time Grand Slam champion can overcome Denis Istomin.
“The last time I played Roger was a bit of a blur,” Evans said of his only encounter against Federer, at Wimbledon in 2016, which he lost 6-4 6-2 6-2.
“He’s the greatest of all time and it was my first time on Centre Court.”
Andy Murray, a five-time finalist at Melbourne Park, faces world number 22 Roberto Bautista Agut in what could be his final match.
The three-time Grand Slam winner has said he is “still in a lot of pain” following hip surgery last January and cannot play to his old level.
Edmund fails at first hurdle
Edmund replaced Murray as British number one last March after a good start to 2018 when he reached his first Grand Slam semi-final.
The Briton came into Monday’s match having lost his only match in 2019. He was up against an opponent who had fallen to world number 57 after injuries, but had recently reached the final in Doha.
Edmund’s started poorly when he was broken in the second game of the first set, before an entirely forgettable second set where he won only 40% of points on his first serve and managed only three winners.
The Briton won his opening service game of the third set, which appeared to give him confidence, and had set point in the 10th game. However, he failed to convert his chance, firing a volley wide.
The world number 14 was broken again in the next game before Berdych served out for the match.
Edmund’s ranking will drop significantly after this tournament as he loses the points earned in Melbourne last year.