ATP Miami: Kyle Edmund Overcomes Jiri Vesely In Three Set Thriller

Kyle Edmund set up an enticing second round clash with world number one Novak Djokovic after defeating Jiri Vesely in a three set battle 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6) at the Miami Open.

Prior to this match, the two players had never met before, but Edmund was definitely the underdog as the world number 87 was going up against the world number 55. The Brit had come close to progressing the second round in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago, but made sure he made no mistake in securing progress this time around.

Excellent Start For Edmund

The opening seven games were held comfortably by both players as they settled in to this first round clash on Grandstand at the second Masters 1000 event of the year.

Edmund won the opening point on Vesely’s serve in the next game but the Czech responded, winning the next point with a stunning 94mph forehand winner, resulting in him getting very fired up and really engaged in the contest. That proved to be the catalyst for Vesely in earning himself the first three break points of the match soon after.

The Brit saved the first with a difficult volley, and then forced Vesely into breaking down in the longer rallies, one of which lasted 23 shots, to save the next two break points. In a game lasting over nine minutes, the British number three eventually came through.

That hold proved to pivotal in defining the outcome of the opening set as Edmund went on to break Vesely to love after the Czech made some poor errors, sealing the set 6-4.

Comeback From The Czech

There was an early shift in momentum at the start of the second set as Vesely finally capitalized on his sixth break point chance to take a 1-0 lead in the second set. The Czech’s play was still very inconsistent and it proved to be costly, as he handed the break straight back in his following service game to put the British number three back in control.

In the fifth game Edmund saved a break point in a hard fought tussle to keep his nose in front and continued to hold serve before both players were locked in at 5-5. The Brit’s level dropped as he found himself down 0-40 as he was the first set. There was to be no comeback on this occasion from the world number 87, dropping serve to give Vesely the chance to serve for the second set.

Edmund earned two break back points, but the Czech was resolute in his defense, saving both chances before securing the set with some big first serves. The Czech claimed the set 7-5.

Vesely lost to another Brit, James Ward, at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Getty Images
Vesely lost to another Brit, James Ward, at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Getty Images

Final Set Thriller

Things went from bad to worse for the Brit as he dropped serve in the opening game of the final set. The world number 87 duly responded, breaking back instantly to love. The players traded breaks of serve once more before the two were locked in at 6-6, a final set tiebreak.

Edmund gained the first mini break to lead 4-2 at the change of ends, before Vesely leveled at 4-4.  However, it was the Brit who then took control, leading 6-4. Having failed to capitalize on the first three match points, fourth time was the charm for Edmund as he secured the tiebreak 8-6 to reach the second round in Miami for the first time.