Britain’s Kyle Edmund couldn’t continue his impressive form as he crashed out of the men’s singles draw at the Rio Olympics.
Edmund was the hero in Great Britain’s Davis Cup victory over Serbia three weeks ago, however on the hard courts in Brazil he was undone by a plucky opponent in Taro Daniel of Japan.
The British number three had his chances against a player ranked 36 place below him, however for all his aggressive play he was ultimately let down by a strew of errors in a 6-4 7-5 defeat.
That was to Daniel’s credit, as the world number 117’s athleticism and consistency regularly diminished the court for Edmund, who was given little in terms of free points.
Daniel will now play the winner of the match between Portugal’s João Sousa and Juan Martin Del Potro, Novak Djokovic’s conqueror, in the third round.
Edmund races ahead
Edmund, who beat Australian Jordan Thompson in the opening round, started forcefully, with his potent forehand doing most of the damage.
The Brit broke Daniel in the second game of the match, which was settled by a deft volley, however he couldn’t build on an early 3-0 lead.
Daniel may not have the firepower or the flashy shots but he incredibly reliable from the back of the court. In his first round victory over the 14th seed Jack Sock, he made just one unforced error and despite not hitting a single winner he prevailed in straight sets.
Daniel turns it around
Here the Japanese number four used an abundance of height and spin to keep Edmund at bay. The Brit could only respond with a cluster of errors, as he surrendered his serve for the first time in the fifth game.
At 3-3 Edmund’s first serve saved him from losing four games in a row, even so it wasn’t enough to rescue the opening set.
Daniel moved ahead for the first time in the match when Edmund misfired a backhand long to slip 4-5 behind. The Japanese player went on to serve out the set with relative ease.
Edmund faced two more break points in the fifth game of the second set but two gutsy forehands saw him fended them off to lead 3-2.
The Brit looked like he had made a breakthrough when he came from 40-15 down on Daniel’s serve to go 4-2 ahead, however he was broken back in the next game.
Daniel then held the momentum and, after converting his second break point of the game at 5-5, he served out the match to book his place in the last 16.