Britain’s Kyle Edmund recorded the biggest victory of his fledgling career after he out powered Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the opening round at the US Open.
The 21-year-old from Beverly dominated from start to finish against the 13th seed as he bulldozed his way to a 6-2 6-2 6-3 triumph in just an hour and 40 minutes.
In that time Edmund had hit an astounding 40 winners compared to the 13 which flew off Gasquet’s racquet, and in terms of ranking this was the British number four’s greatest ever scalp.
Earlier this summer Edmund beat another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, at the Queens Club when his opponent was the 18th best player in the world.
Not only is Gasquet’s ranking three places higher than that at 15 in the world, but he was also playing at a Grand Slam event and over best of five sets- a format which Edmund has struggled with in the past.
Nevertheless, there were no signs of fatigue here and the Brit rarely looked like relinquishing his early lead.
Edmund dominates from the off
This was Edmund’s first main draw appearance in New York however his inexperience didn’t show as he dominated from the get-go.
Edmund’s potent forehand is no longer a secret on the ATP Tour and it was firing on all cylinders from the off.
His robust serve and durable backhand were equally impressive, and it was Gasquet’s game which regularly broke down in the prolonged rallies.
The first set took just 27 minutes, as Edmund secured the first break of serve in the third game of the match.
He pounced again when Gasquet was serving at 5-2 to put seal on an empathic start.
Forehand does the job
Any ball which Gasquet dropped short was crushed by Edmund’s relentless forehand, and the high bouncing court allowed the Brit to strike numerous winners.
The fact that the match was played on the outside court five could only have helped Edmund further.
With his ranking, Gasquet wouldn’t have been used to playing many matches in these surroundings - especially at Grand Slam events.
The world number 84 played well above his ranking, though, and didn’t even face a break point in the first two sets.
His first real test came at 4-2 in the second set after he had just broken Gasquet for the third time in the match.
The Frenchman then had 0-30 in the following game but Edmund repelled the threat with four first serves.
No signs of nerves or fatigue
Gasquet did finally make inroads into an Edmund service game when he broke to lead 2-1 in the third.
At that point some may have expected the higher ranked player to show his class and turn the match around, however Edmund was soon back in control.
He drew level at 3-3 after a phenomenal forehand passing shot on the run on break point.
That appeared to knock the stuffing out of Gasquet, who had looked a rather abject figure for most of the match, and Edmund went on to reel off the next three games before finishing with an ace.