Wimbledon 2013: Kyle Edmund falls short of a tilt at the crown

Young pretender loses in semi-final, leaving Matthews still the last British boy kin


Stanley Matthews's record is safe for another year; Stanley Matthews jnr that is. More than half a century ago, in 1962, son of Stan won junior Wimbledon and he therefore remains the last British male to win a singles title here. Any hope of a successor disappeared when Kyle Edmund, the adopted Yorkshireman born in Johannesburg, lost his semi-final to Italy's Gianluigi Quinzi, seeded one spot below him at six.

Matthews' would occasionally reach the second round of a Grand Slam event but in the end found it difficult to make a living from the game. He admitted: "I was a serve and volleyer with a weak serve," which it has to be admitted was something of a handicap even in those days.

Edmund, a strapping 6ft 4in, does not have that problem. In the first round of the main event he had taken eight games off Andy Murray's semi-final opponent Jerzy Janowicz and only on Thursday did he drop a set in the juniors, before showing abundant character to come back and take the match against the 15-year-old American prospect Stefan Kozlov.

Now he has to show whether being touted as the best British prospect since Murray will prove too heavy a burden. The Scot himself has praised his commitment and ability, saying: "He puts in the effort on the court and in the gym."

Concentrating mainly on senior events now, he has already achieved a ranking in the world's top 400 and would be expected to improve on that by the end of the year.

Quinzi had demonstrated his quality in surprising the second seed Nikola Milojevic, whom he ousted in straight sets in Thursday's quarter-final. Swinging his left-handed serve into Edmund, he was generally in control of his service games and broke the Yorkshireman to lead 4-3 in the first set. That came after Edmund had three break points himself, all of which the voluble Italian saved.

Watched by coaches including Greg Rusedski and Leon Smith, the head of men's tennis and Davis Cup captain, Edmund certainly looked fit enough. It was the Italian who was given a warning for time violation as he grew weary following a long game of nine deuces; but he came through it and took the set.

In the second set Edmund hit one wild and one careless shot to put himself in danger and was again broken for 4-3, Quinzi eventually serving out to take the match. The Briton's powerful serve had touched 119mph and it was only an occasional backhand that let him down.

He has experience at a number of junior Davis Cup matches and shown good temperament here playing in front of some big and partisan crowds. Already the youngest Briton since Murray ten years earlier to win a Futures event, he has also defeated the world No 86 Kenny de Schepper - who showed up well this Wimbledon - and extended the No. 6 Gilles Simon to two tie-breaks.

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