Great Britain’s number one and world number 22, Kyle Edmund kick-started his clay-court swing with a straight-set win over Frenchman Ugo Humbert in his first round match.
Edmund won 6-3, 6-2 to move into round two of the Grand Prix Hassan II Open in Marrakech where he will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The British player had made it tor the final of this tournament last season and will be hoping to go one better in a bid to push into the top 20 of the ATP Rankings.
And he looks to have made a solid start to that endeavour as he won 77 per cent of his first serves and 83 per cent of his second serve points to ensure he wouldn’t be on court for a long time. The match lasted 79 minutes and saw Edmund having no problems in saving the only three break-points he faced in the encounter.
And up next for him will be Tsonga who was also a straight-set winner over German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. Needing just 81 minutes, Tsonga won 6-1, 7-6(3). Interestingly, Tsonga is playing at this competition for the first time since 2008 when he had made the final but had to withdraw before the match because of an injury.
Tsonga, who last played on clay at the 2017 French Open admitted his happiness at having won on clay after having been out of action for that long.
He added: “I did what I needed to do today and played well during the first set. It has been almost two years since I didn’t play on outdoor clay. It’s nice to be back on clay.”
In another match, fourth seeded Gilles Simon also had no difficulties in moving into round two. The fourth seeded Frenchman defeated Slovak Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 6-1 in 90 minutes to set up a meeting with Guido Andreozzi in round two. The Argentine was a 6-3, 7-6 winner over Albert Ramos Vinolas.