Kyle Edmund Crowned King in Antwerp
For the first time since Andy Murray’s triumph in Dubai in March 2017, a Briton has won a title on the ATP World Tour after Kyle Edmund beat fans favourite Gael Monfils 3-6 7-6 7-6 in a thrilling final in the European Open in Antwerp.
Things did look bleak for Edmund in his second ATP final; after 7 minutes he found himself 3-0 down in the first set. However, Edmund showed excellent character to keep pace with Monfils a tightly contested second set, before winning it on a tiebreak. Monfils and Edmund were neck and neck in set three, with both players holding their 6 service games, each man successfully saving 2 break points. The match, if anything, became harder to call in the tiebreak, as the score reached 3-3. It was Edmund that was able to claim the decisive minibreak, as Monfils shanked a forehead at 3-4. However, what followed was even more impressive for Edmund, as Edmund lasered a picturesque backhand down the line at 5-4, before firing a signature forehand winner to win the match.
Just how much this meant to Edmund was clear, as after winning the match, Edmund broke down in tears as he went over to celebrate with his box. “I’m obviously very happy. A lot of hard work goes into this. So it’s just emotional,” Edmund said on court. “You always remember this one. Gael made me work for it today, that’s for sure, so credit to him. I’m just so happy.”
Edmund will move back up to a career high ranking of 14 as a result of this and is still technically in the running to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for London. However, it will be a tough ask for Edmund to do so, as he is nearly 1,000 points off the pace with two tournaments to go and would need excellent runs in Vienna and Basel to stand any chance of qualification. But the important thing for Edmund is that he has announced himself as a threat on the ATP World Tour and will have overcome the psychological barrier that comes with not having won a tournament.
Congratulations are most certainly in order.