British No.1 Kyle Edmund will start his 2019 season at the Australian Open against the Tomas Berdych in the first round.
Watch & bet on Kyle Edmund v Tomas Berdych live with bet365 here* on Monday, January 14. The Edmund v Berdych first round match will start at around 11 am local time (1:00 am BST).
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Confident Edmund After a Breakthrough 2018
British Number 1 and 2018 Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund returns to the Australian Open after a breakthrough 2018.
Edmund began the year as world number 50 and ended within the top 15. 2018 was a year of many firsts for the Yorkshireman, with the Australian Open semi-finals, Madrid & Shanghai Masters quarter finals, and his first ATP title at Antwerp.
His most noteworthy wins being against then world number 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the Madrid ATP Masters.
Edmund’s 2019 has not got off to the best of starts, with an early second round loss in the ATP 250 at Brisbane to a qualifier. Kyle pulled out of the tournament in Sydney this week due to concerns with his knee; though he mentioned he was largely taking precautionary measures.
Unlike last year, Edmund begins the Australian Open with more expectations given his promising 2018, his run at the Australian Open and being the British number 1.
A return to his 2018 level, facilitated by his powerful forehand, would make him a force to reckon with at any tournament. As Mats Wilander put it, it is a “destructive forehand” and an “unbelievable weapon” that is “among the best in the business”
Veteran Berdych Returns From a Long Injury Lay-Off
Powerful Czech, and former world number 4 Tomas Berdych returns from a long injury lay off in 2018.
Berdych had a strong start to 2018, with a quarter final showing at the Australian Open, defeating Juan Martin Del Portro and Fabio Fognini in straight sets, before losing to ultimate champion Roger Federer. Berdych withdrew for the year with a back injury around Wimbledon.
The Czech had an impressive start to 2019, returning from his injury lay off, making the finals at the ATP 250 at Doha, before losing to Bautista Agut in a well-contested final.
While it still remains to be seen, how ready the Czech is to play best of five sets, in what can be difficult conditions in Melbourne sometimes, he has always been a contender at all majors throughout his career.
Berdych has made the semi-final of all Grand Slams in his career. His most notable performance being the 2010 Wimbledon, where he made the finals, after defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, in the semi-final and finals respectively. Berdych eventually lost to Rafael Nadal, who won his second Wimbledon Trophy.
Berdych has always had a powerful game, aided by his tall 6’5” frame.
A very powerful and smooth forehand, that he can hit from anywhere on the court, a big serve, strong double-handed backhand, and being steady at the net, are features of his game that have largely contributed to his consistency over the years.
Edmund V Berdych – Who Will Win?
The pair have only met once on the ATP circuit, at the ATP 250 in Doha, in 2016. Berdych won that comfortably in straight sets. Both their games and careers have evolved since then, with Edmund being a much stronger force to reckon with now, and Berdych losing some of his consistency, over time.
This promises to be a match-up of strong powerful forehands, and perhaps a lot of short service games. How well both have recovered from recent injuries will be a factor as well. If Edmund can return to the form of the last 12 months, the surface will definitely be to his liking and he will be a strong favorite.
That being said, Berdych, though a touch slower than in his prime, has both the experience and the game on the faster Melbourne courts, to be an equal competitor. If Kyle Edmund can start strong, the match may well tilt in his favor sooner rather than later.
Berdych’s Doha form is evidence that he is feeling good about his game though. It promises to be a well- matched battle, and while Berdych has all the tools to complete on equal footing; confidence, fitness, and form, should work in Edmund’s favor. Kyle Edmund to win in four well-fought sets.
You can watch & bet on Kyle Edmund v Tomas Berdych live with bet365 here on Monday, January 14.