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Murray sees bright future for Davis Cup ace Edmund

By Eleanor Crooks

Published 18/07/2016

On the rise: Kyle Edmund showed his quality to step in for Andy Murray and lead GB into the Davis Cup semi-finals
On the rise: Kyle Edmund showed his quality to step in for Andy Murray and lead GB into the Davis Cup semi-finals

Andy Murray tipped Kyle Edmund to go right to the top of the game after his Davis Cup heroics against Serbia.

The 21-year-old stepped into Murray's shoes for the weekend in Belgrade and rose to the challenge superbly, beating Janko Tipsarevic and then Dusan Lajovic to clinch victory for Great Britain.

Leon Smith's defending champions go through to a semi-final against Argentina in September, which Murray confirmed he is set to play in. The World No.2 took Edmund under his wing when it became clear the Yorkshireman was the country's brightest prospect and has seen him develop into one of the most exciting young talents in the game.

Murray said: "He is a lot better than a lot of people thought he was going to be, myself included. There's no reason why he can't get right up to the top of the game.

"I still think there are some things he can improve but he has big weapons, bigger than a lot of the young guys who are ahead of him.

"When he gets more experience and learns how to use them better, gets a little bit physically stronger, gets used to playing in atmospheres like this more and more, he's going to go a long way.

"It's impossible to say how far but the way that he plays on this surface - Lajovic has played in the fourth round of the French Open, and Kyle dominated that entire match, and he's only going to get better, so on this surface in particular he'll have some great events in the next 10 or 15 years and that's really exciting."

Murray may not have played in the tie but his remarkable effort in travelling to Belgrade to support the team undoubtedly made a difference.

It was a rather different Sunday for the Scot, who seven days after his Wimbledon triumph found himself sitting in conditions more typical of a British summer.

But persistent drizzle did not prevent the match starting on time and Edmund, ranked 14 places above Lajovic at 67 in the world, immediately took control.

Lajovic is a solid player and a very good mover on clay but the 26-year-old does not have a shot to rival Edmund's forehand - he hit 27 winners off that wing alone.

The 21-year-old dominated the first two sets, holding his nerve in the second in the face of growing Serbian crowd support, and looked poised for victory serving at 5-4 in the third.

Edmund had only faced one break point in the whole match but his first serve deserted him and he tightened up on his forehand as Lajovic levelled.

The Serbian then had two chances to take it to a fourth set but Edmund saved them both and recovered from 4-2 down in the tie-break with some big forehands.

On his first match point, Lajovic drove a backhand wide, and Edmund collapsed to the clay in celebration before being embraced by his team-mates.

Murray said: "I thought he played great in both of the matches.

"I thought he dominated the whole match. The end got a little bit tight but he clearly deserved the win. He handled everything really well.

"The level at the end of the match was excellent, there were very few unforced errors from both of them. Kyle was hitting a big ball the whole way through.

"It's a great win for the whole team actually away from home in Serbia, although they had some players missing but we did as well, which shows that there is some depth there as well, and Kyle did great."

Belfast Telegraph

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