Australian Open 2019, Day 1 Match Review: Tomas Berdych vs Kyle Edmund
- Berdych played brilliant tennis and defeated the British no. 1 and last year's semi-finalist Kyle Edmund in straight sets.
He showed very good form in his first tournament of the year at Doha, where he reached the final, and he has now continued that good form in Melbourne. In a match between two players with big serves and heavy ground strokes, it was Berdych who came on top.
His serve has always been his strength, but his return game in this match was top-notch. He won a whopping 36 points on his return as opposed to just 17 by Edmund. He was not afraid to come to the net whenever required and kept varying the pace in the rallies by using delectable Federer-esque slices to break the rhythm of the much-higher ranked opponent.
He served very well throughout the match. In the third set, when Edmund put his serve under pressure at times, he bailed himself out by not just serving at high speeds, but also by placing it well.
A reflection of how well he combined a good game on serve and return can be gauged from the fact that he lost only 12% of his first serve points, while winning 37% of the first serve points on Kyle’s serve. And on Kyle’s second serve, he won more than half the points.
Though Edmund was probably not at his best in this match, that should not take away anything from the gentle giant from Czech Republic. The Australian Open has traditionally been his favourite grand slam, where he has produced some of his best tennis over the years.
On the evidence of this commanding performance, he has certainly served notice to the pre-tournament favourites and this may not be good news especially for Rafael Nadal, who may run into Berdych as early as the fourth round.Published 14 Jan 2019, 14:05 IST