Mum’s the word as Kyle Edmund strikes it hot at Australian Open

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Kyle Edmund’s mum makes sure he is always ready for the sun and the Yorkshireman is showing form as hot as the Melbourne summer at the Australian Open.

The British number two followed up his statement upset of Kevin Anderson in round one by breezing past Denis Istomin 6-2 6-2 6-4 in just an hour and 29 minutes to reach the third round at Melbourne Park for the first time.

It was hot enough for the players to drape ice towels around their necks during changeovers but, by the time Edmund takes on Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday, the thermometer may have hit 40C.

Kyle Edmund, right, saw of Denis Istomin in straight sets
Kyle Edmund, right, saw of Denis Istomin in straight sets (Dita Alangkara/AP)

“I got a bit burned on Monday,” he said. “I didn’t put enough on then. It’s my neck that gets the worst. You’re in the sun quite a bit. I know I have to pause because of my pale skin. I have to take responsibility. My mum gives me a lecture if I don’t.

“It’s going to be hot. You just have to do your best. It’s the same for both players really. That’s one way of looking at it. You expect it to be hot in Australia. That’s why you prepare, do all the hours on court in the off-season.

“That’s why most players don’t really do a pre-season indoors in the cold, because the first tournaments of the year are in very hot conditions in Australia. You have to be fit for it. Whoever manages it best probably will have a better outcome.”

The 23-year-old oozed confidence on Wednesday, dropping just three points on his first serve and not facing a single break point against a player who caused a seismic upset at this stage last year by beating Novak Djokovic.

Edmund’s section of the draw was blown wide open on day one by defeats for seeds Anderson, Jack Sock, Lucas Pouille and Philipp Kohlschreiber, and it is a golden opportunity for one of the players remaining to reach a grand slam quarter-final.

On this form, there is absolutely no reason why that cannot be Edmund, who is the highest-ranked player left following Ivo Karlovic’s five-set win over Yuichi Sugita.

Edmund is only allowing himself to look one step ahead and will leave it to others to speculate on how far he might be able to go.

The world number 49 said: “I’m playing well. I’m happy with where I’m at in my game, stuff I’m working on.

“In terms of today, I got good confidence from the match against Anderson. I knew going into this match physically I was good, the way I’m hitting the ball. If he was going to beat me today, I knew I was going to put up a good fight.

“Today was a good, professional performance, I did what I needed to do. I held my concentration well. I was just really pleased, especially with the heat today. To get on and off is good.”

Basilashvili, ranked 12 places below Edmund, had never won a match at the Australian Open before this year and lost his only previous encounter with the Yorkshireman at the French Open in 2016.

Edmund said: “He’s obviously a very aggressive player. He takes swings at the ball. He has errors, but he has lots of winners. You just have to accept that and expect that when you play him, that he’s going to hit some winners.”

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