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How Kyle Edmund used Liverpool's Champions League hurt to help him to French Open triumph

 

By Andy Sims

Kyle Edmund took out his frustration at Liverpool's Champions League defeat on Australian youngster Alex de Minaur as he roared into the second round of the French Open.

Edmund made no mistake as he dispatched De Minaur in straight sets, in stark contrast to Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius and the gaffes which gifted the European title to Real Madrid.

Liverpool fan Edmund, who watched the match in a Paris bar with coaches and fellow players, said: "It was sad to lose and the nature of it was annoying, with two easy goals in that fashion.

"It left just a bit of a sad taste. It was two errors and one amazing goal. You'll never see something like that in a long time."

Edmund, looking to build on his stunning run to the Australian Open semi-final in January, simply overpowered his 19-year-old opponent.

He broke serve in the first game of the match, took the opening set in just half an hour and went on to wrap up a fine 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory.

"I played pretty well. I was just waiting to get going, anticipating, wanting to execute my game well," added Edmund, who set up a second-round meeting with Hungary's Marton Fucsovics.

Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal admitted he may have taken it a little too easy as he began his bid for an 11th French Open title.

Nadal's latest Roland Garros campaign is up and running after a straight-sets - but far from straightforward - win over Simone Bolelli.

The Spaniard - top seed, World No.1, reigning champion and red-hot favourite for another Paris crown - had to return yesterday morning to finish his first-round clash against the lucky loser from Italy.

Nadal had taken the first two sets in typically ominous style but then trailed 3-0 in the third when the rain came.

Nadal broke straight back on the resumption but Bolelli did not let him have things his own way, threatening another break at 4-3.

Bolelli then forced four set points in a marathon tie-break but the 16-time Grand Slam winner got over the line 6-4 6-3 7-6 (11/9).

"It was a good match. It was a difficult match, because he played so aggressive and very well," said Nadal.

"Yeah, I played a match that I have to play more aggressively, I know.

"But it was difficult to play so aggressive being in the first round and against a player who really came on court and decided to play that strong."

Third seed Marin Cilic made short work of his first-round match, going through in straight sets against Australian James Duckworth.

The Croatian, runner-up at the Australian Open in January, shrugged off a 45-minute rain delay to run out a 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7/4) winner.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro dropped the first set against France's Nicolas Mahut but recovered to go through 1-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.

South African Kevin Anderson, who is seeded sixth, was a comfortable winner as he swept past Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-1 6-2 6-4.

But American Jack Sock was a surprise casualty in the opening round, the 14th seed bowing out in five sets to Estonian lucky loser Jurgen Zopp 7-6 (7/4) 2-6 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3.

Belfast Telegraph

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