Wimbledon 2019: Kyle Edmund ‘surprised’ to be playing on Centre Court in first round

The British number one will take on Spain's Jaume Munar as he looks to recapture the form that carried him to the third round 12 months ago

Eleanor Crooks
Sunday 30 June 2019 15:50
Wimbledon Championships in numbers

Kyle Edmund described it as "a very nice surprise" to find himself back on Centre Court for his first Wimbledon outing on Monday.

The British number one will take on Spain's Jaume Munar as he looks to recapture the form that carried him to the third round 12 months ago and an intense clash with eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Edmund eventually lost in four sets, but he hopes the experience can stand him in good stead against 88th-ranked Munar, who has never won a match on grass and has lost his last six on all surfaces.

He said: "It was probably the best match I played at Wimbledon. I ended up playing the winner, so he was playing very well. The best atmosphere and match I've been involved in at Wimbledon, for sure.

"I think every time you go on Centre Court or Court One, you get the feel of it. It's always in the bank for next time you go in.

"He's (Munar) a very good competitor. I practised with him once last year. He plays with a lot of emotion, always fighting. It's an exciting match to be on Centre again, a very nice surprise when I saw that."

Edmund arrived at the All England Club on the back of his best week of what has so far been a disappointing season with a run to the semi-finals in Eastbourne.

"Three matches inside a week is not something I've had for a while," he said.

"Good to get that. Come through some pressure situations. Learn from my loss. Just helped me a lot with being on court tennis-wise, with my confidence."

Kyle Edmund says it will be a challenge to adjust to the pace of the Wimbledon schedule  

After the highs of last season, which began with a run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open and ended with his first ATP Tour title and a place in the world's top 15, this year has been rather different.

A knee injury has played a big part, with Edmund missing most of the first two months of the season and then retiring during his second-round match at the French Open and admitting it was still an issue.

He has pulled up well after Eastbourne and will not be giving any thought to the scrutiny on his shoulders as the leading British man at Wimbledon.

"I do my best," he said. "If I come unstuck, people have opinions about it, I move on.

"You always want to do well at Wimbledon. It's the biggest tournament in the world. But if you go on court tense and feeling pressure to win, then I don't think it's a great recipe to relax into your game and play freely."

Edmund is one of six British men competing in the singles main draw this year, and has company from East Yorkshire in the shape of 19-year-old wild card Paul Jubb.

Jubb hails from Hull while Edmund grew up near Beverley, and he said: "When he got the wild card, I sent him a message saying, 'Well done, amazing opportunity, as best you can try and enjoy these two weeks because it's probably the best two weeks you're going to have as a professional tennis player'."

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