2018 French Open: Fognini ends Edmund's run after five-set battle in Paris

2018 French Open: Fognini ends Edmund's run after five-set battle in Paris

Edmund was Britain's last singles representative at Roland Garros. Fognini will now face either Marin Cilic or Steve Johnson in the fourth round.

joseph-nicholson
Joe Nicholson

Kyle Edmund lost a five-set battle in the third round of the French Open for the second year running after going down 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 to Italy's Fabio Fognini.

Edmund, who a year ago lost to Kevin Anderson at the same stage in Paris, had chances in the deciding set before crucially losing his serve at 4-5 in the fifth on the Suzanne-Lenglen Court.

This was another good showing from the British number one against a player renowned for his undoubted talent and clay-court prowess, however, it won't detract from the disappointment of defeat in a match which lasted 3 hours and 34 minutes.

Victory would have meant a fourth-round encounter against either Croatia's Marin Cilic or American Steve Johnson.

Instead, the Brit will now look ahead to his grass-count season, which begins on June 18 at the Fever-Trees Championships in London. 

This was the third major in succession where Edmund had been the last Brit standing in singles events.

The 23-year-old from Yorkshire wasn't fazed by the pressure at the Australian Open earlier in the year and produced a couple of assured performances to come through the opening rounds at Roland Garros.

Even so, Fognini, the 18th seed and a clay-court specialist, represented a step up in quality from the vanquished Alex de Minaur and Marton Fucsovics.

Embed from Getty Images

Fognini diffuses Edmund threat

Edmund had never previously met the flamboyant and unpredictable Italian, 31, who British fans may remember for his stunning clay-court victory over Andy Murray in Davis Cup in 2014.

Despite losing his serve in the opening game of the match, Fognini displayed a similar performance in the first set here, winning five games in a row from a 1-3 deficit.

The Italian has exceptional technique from the back of the court and the ability to strike the ball early, especially off the backhand wing.

It was a shot he used to great effect in the opening set, regularly guiding the ball down the line to keep Edmund’s potent forehand at bay.

Embed from Getty Images

Edmund powers ahead

Yet, Fognini has only made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam on one occasion, at the French Open in 2011, and his concentration has a tendency waver during matches.

In the second set, Edmund won 15 straight points to take a 5-1 lead as his opponent’s game went AWOL for a curious 10-minute spell.

But, with little to lose, Fognini broke Edmund twice to claw the score back to 5-4, before losing serve in the next game to ultimately concede the set.

Both players held serve comfortably at the start of the third until Edmund made his move when leading 4-3.

After prevailing in a couple of baseline duels on the Italian’s serve, Edmund was handed a crucial break after his opponent double-faulted at 30-40.

The Brit didn't blink as he served out the set for a two sets to one lead.

Embed from Getty Images

Chances come and go

Momentum swung again at the start of the fourth, as Fognini came within inches of a 4-0 lead when he nudged a drop shot into the tramlines.

Instead, Edmund held for 3-1, before breaking his opponent in the following game after a couple of pulsating groundstrokes.

But, after fighting hard to get back on level terms, Edmund lost his serve at 4-5 when he dumped a drop shot into the net.

The Brit had opportunities at the start of the decider but couldn't convert either of his two break points at 2-2.

His first blip on serve in the decider was a fatal one, as Fognini broke at 4-5 to close out the match.

VAVEL Logo

Tennis News

a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
a month ago
2 months ago
2 months ago
2 months ago