LONDON: When Andy Murray was ending Britain’s 76-year wait for a Grand Slam champion at the US Open in 2012, a teenage Kyle Edmund was recovering from a morale-sapping loss at a third-tier event in Canada, earning the princely sum of $200 in the process.
Fast forward six years and it is Edmund who carries British hopes at Wimbledon as his compatriots — 11 of them — respect the age-old All England Club tradition of getting knocked out by Thursday afternoon.
The pressure is double on Edmund, the world number 17, as two-time Wimbledon champion Murray withdrew on the eve of the tournament due to his long-standing hip injury.
Edmund also now has the arduous task of having to face three-time champion Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s (today’s) third round.
“Playing Djokovic is always tough,” said 25-year-old Edmund who earned his first win over the Serb in Madrid this year after three successive losses.
“For sure, when you beat someone, it always gives you that confidence, for sure the belief that you can beat them. I remember playing reasonably well that day. But he’s playing well, winning pretty comfortably both his matches here.
“He’s one of the best players of all time. For sure, there’s always that massive respect.”
Edmund enjoyed his first win on Centre Court on Thursday when he saw off American qualifier Bradley Klahn. His run to the third round this year is his best at the tournament having lost in the first round for five successive years until 2017.
This year has been a breakthrough season from a shock run to the Australian Open semi-finals through to beating Murray in Eastbourne on the eve of Wimbledon.