When the mentor becomes the student
Andy Murray was beaten in straight sets by Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-4 when playing his third match since returning from hip surgery. Edmund’s power proved to be too much for Murray. During his absence, Edmund climbed his way to the world’s top 20 for the first time in his career to become the British number one, so it is no surprise that Edmund did as well as he did.
In an ironic twist, the teacher became the student. The 23-year-old was formerly mentored by Murray in his younger years, but the two remained friends afterwards, practising and competing together. Resultantly, the match between him and a player now ranked 156th was played in a convivial atmosphere. The support was split between the two players.
Edmund had not beaten his illustrious opponent in their two previous meetings, so his nerves were high before the match. But he managed to pull himself together and walk out with a win. Edmund is now the first British player to beat Murray since Tim Henman in 2006.
Meanwhile, Murray’s movement looked sharp in the opening set. Although, that could not prevent Edmund’s powerful groundstrokes from getting past him. Murray is still in the recovery stages following his surgery, but he is keen to compete in Wimbledon. He would need to compete for days, so it is notable that he could not maintain a powerful performance playing two matches in three days. Murray looked to be fading as the match headed deep into the second hour. However, his competitive streak remained.
There was the familiar sight of Murray shouting at himself after an error, and roars of “come on” and “let’s go” when he saved break points in the second set. Murray dumped his racquet on the grass when he coughed up a double fault, giving Edmund the crucial break, further showing he is desperate to win as well as build up his fitness.
Moreover, Britain’s two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray says there is ‘no risk’ to his fitness if he decides to play at the tournament next week.