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Edmund keen for England to revel in double success

 

By Eleanor Crooks

Kyle Edmund hopes tomorrow can deliver a double English sporting celebration as he prepares to take on three-time champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon.

The 23-year-old is the last home player remaining in the singles and eased into the last-32 for the first time with a 6-4 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 win over American qualifier Bradley Klahn.

The stakes are about to be raised, and Edmund finds himself sharing the sporting stage, with England taking on Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals at 3pm tomorrow.

It is up to the schedulers to decide whether the two matches will clash, but Edmund, a big football fan, will not be asking for special consideration.

"I'm sure they'll factor that in," he said. "I don't mind. I'm a tennis player, so I'm here to do my job first. But we'll see. Hopefully it will be a success for both of us, England and myself."

The World Cup draw has pitted 'Team Edmund' against one another, with the Yorkshireman and coach Mark Hilton backing England while his other coach, Fredrik Rosengren, is Swedish.

Edmund and Rosengren posed for pictures in their respective team shirts on Wednesday, and the 21st seed said: "(There's been) a little bit (of banter). It will be interesting. Hopefully I'll get to watch the match."

Edmund can count himself unfortunate to come across Djokovic so early, with the 12-time Grand Slam winner back on form and playing considerably above his seeding of 12.

Neither man has lost a set so far, with Djokovic conceding just 12 games, but Edmund can at least take confidence from their last meeting in Madrid in May, when he posted his first win over the Serbian.

Edmund said: "Playing Djokovic is always tough. When you beat someone, it always gives you that confidence. I remember playing well that day. It was mentally a good thing for me.

"He's playing well, winning both matches comfortably. But we'll see. Every match is different. He's one of the best players in the world, one of the best players of all time. I'm just going to do my best and see what happens."

Edmund was making his second appearance on Centre Court after losing there to Gael Monfils last year, and he never looked in any danger against Klahn, a 27-year-old ranked 168 whose career was stalled by back surgery in 2015.

Edmund did not face a single break point and was in control throughout.

"It was good to play on Centre again the second time, my first win on there, that's always a nice feeling," said Edmund.

"I was controlling my service games, which always puts the pressure on him. In the second set, I had 0-30, had a break point one of the games, so I could have broken. It was always that mini battle trying to break him. I think the way I played the tie-break was the difference."

Djokovic has no doubt he will be fit to face Edmund tomorrow.

The three-time Wimbledon champion expects to shrug off a minor muscle problem picked up in his straight-sets win over Horacio Zeballos.

Djokovic swept past Argentina's Zeballos 6-1 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 31 minutes on Court Two, then branded his muscle twinge "nothing major".

He will test out his injury on the practice courts today, but remains confident he will be at full tilt to take on Edmund.

Asked if he had any doubts about being fit, Djokovic said: "No. I've been doing check-ups now, it seems like nothing major.

"It was a bad move during the point. It affected my knee. I felt it all the way to the end of the match. Tomorrow I'll see in the practice session how it feels."

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