It was an all-British showdown at the Citi Open as Andy Murray took on Kyle Edmund. These two faced off earlier in the year on grass in Eastbourne with the younger Brit taking it. This time around, Murray was fresh off of a long, hard-fought win over Mackenzie McDonald and was looking to grab another victory in his comeback.
Murray prevailed in the showdown this time around 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4 to set up a third-round showdown with Marius Copil.
Murray Grabs Hour Long Opening Set
The all-British showdown began with Murray looking to make a mark early on. He forced Edmund to deuce after a backhand pass but was frustrated that he could not get a proper look in.
After that, it was cruise control until the ninth game where Murray battled back from 0-30 to hold for a 5-4 lead. With the pressure squarely on his younger compatriots shoulders, the world number 18 saved break and set point and went on to hold for five-all.
The 11th game finally saw the break of serve. The world number 18 was struggling to put away volleys but did this time to force deuce. He went on to break for a 6-5 lead to serve for the set, but a couple of costly errors in his service game sent the opener into a tiebreak.
The younger of the two Brits grabbed the opening mini-break of the tiebreak after a net cord went his way. He gave it right back after a backhand error. With two set points after going up 6-4, Murray only needed one try after a backhand return winner to get him one set away from victory.
Edmund Cruises To Force Decider
Murray once again had an early look-in on the serve of Edmund, going 0-30 up but was not able to take advantage. Edmund though took full advantage of his first break point of the second set, smacking a forehand return winner right in the corner to go up 3-1.
The Englishman really took control of the set, going a double break up after a backhand winner found the corner and was soon set to send this all-British showdown. It took six tries and one break point saved, but Edmund would go on to take the set 6-1. The key stat of the set was first serve points. Edmund won well over 90 percent of those points with Murray only winning just over 50 percent of those.
Murray's Trademark Backhand Comes Through
Murray held to open the set and went untested for the first time since his opening service game of the set. Once again, the three-time Grand Slam champion had a small opening at 15-30, this time in the fourth game but could not make the most of it as he frustratingly reacted to not making most of the opportunity.
Since then, neither man had a good look to potentially break until Murray went up 0-30 in the eighth game after he drew Edmund into the net, and Edmund could not put away the difficult half-volley. The former world number one had two break chances and thought his forehand had found the corner but was called out. He challenged, and it indeed just missed.
Those chances came and went for Murray as Edmund survived to go 4-4. Murray held match point after an Edmund double-fault at 4-5, 30-all. It was the trademark backhand return for Murray to help him clinch the victory over his countryman.