A previously forgettable French Open for Britain ended in hope for the future. In the absence of the injured Andy Murray there were no victories for Britons in either the men's or women's singles competitions, but Kyle Edmund left Roland Garros on Saturday night as the first British champion there for 31 years.
Edmund and his partner, Portugal's Frederico Ferreira Silva, added to their US Open boys' doubles title when they claimed the same event in Paris, beating the Chilean pair Christian Garin and Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-3. Edmund, who also reached the quarter-finals of the junior singles, is the first British player to win a title at Roland Garros since John Lloyd's mixed doubles victory alongside Australia's Wendy Turnbull in 1982.
Regarded as one of Britain's brightest prospects, Edmund now heads for Queen's Club, where he has been given a wild card into the Aegon Championships beginning on Monday. "It's going to be a busy time coming up, and with the opportunity I've got through the wild card it's nice to go into a big tournament off the back of a win," the 18-year-old from east Yorkshire said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead.
"It's a nice feeling to win at any level but after our win at the US Open it's great to be able to do it again at Roland Garros. With a quarter-final in the singles and a win in the doubles, it feels like a good week."
Edmund, who is already in the world's top 500 at senior level, will play his opening match at Queen's tomorrow, against Slovenia's Grega Zemlja.
Murray, after a first-round bye, will play his first match on Wednesday against either Nicolas Mahut of France or American Rhyne Williams, while the four other Britons in the draw will be on court today. James Ward, Dan Evans, Ed Corrie and Jamie Baker will face Ivan Dodig, Guido Pella, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Benoît Paire respectively.
Corrie and Edmund will be making their debuts on the senior tour. "They need to try and enjoy it and make the most of it," Murray said. "It's not something that happens every day for those guys. Kyle's been our best junior for the last couple of years. He's played well at some of the Futures events, he's won a couple, so it'll be a good test for him to see where he's at. He's not going to have much time to get used to the grass, but it'll be a great experience for him.
"Dan needs to go out there and give 110 per cent," Murray added. "When he's done that, he's played some very good tennis and had some good wins. He's also been preparing on the grass for a while so he'll have more matches than most of the guys."
Six Britons are in the main draw in the Aegon Classic, which starts at Edgbaston today. Laura Robson, who has a first-round bye, is joined by Heather Watson, Anne Keothavong, Johanna Konta, Tara Moore and Mel South.
Elena Baltacha is one of four British women awarded wild card entry into the main draw of the Aegon Challenge in Nottingham, which also starts today. The former British No 1 is joined by Naomi Broady, Samantha Murray and Lisa Whybourn. Wild cards have also been given to four British men – Josh Milton, David Rice, Dan Smethurst and Richard Gabb.