Battle of the Brits: Liverpool fan Kyle Edmund riding high into semis

Battle of the Brits: Liverpool fan Kyle Edmund riding high into semis

Though he stayed up until 2 a.m. the previous night, the British No. 2 completed an undefeated run in round-robin play Friday by defeating Liam Broady, 6-3, 6-3.

Kyle Edmund and Daniel Evans should be full of confidence heading into this weekend after going undefeated in round-robin play at the Battle of the Brits.

Edmund perhaps, will have an extra dosage of adrenaline in drawing inspiration from Liverpool FC. Despite staying up until 2 a.m., after reveling in his favorite football club being confirmed as Premier League champions for the first time in 30 years, the British No. 2 locked up his third singles win of the week on Friday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow Tim Henman Group member Liam Broady. Edmund saved all three break points he faced, and was effective off the ground, striking 22 winners to just eight unforced errors.

“I was buzzing last night. Just watching all the videos and stuff,” Edmund said afterward. “Coming out here, I have to remember I’m a tennis player, too. I was a bit tired this morning, but it was good today. I played balanced tennis.”

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When asked what the big pluses were on the day, Edmund flashed one of his Liverpool jerseys with a cheeky grin. He later reflected on a special experience he had with the team and head coach Jurgen Klopp.

“We went up during last season. We were in that tight race with Man City. I had amazing access, because literally no one [was] allowed in but they allowed me to come look at training,” Edmund shared. “I got to chat to Jurgen in his office and a bit on the pitch as well. That was pretty cool, just talking about the different players. It’s amazing what he’s done. He likes padel. He actually had a court built at Melwood to play with a cover. He said he didn’t play tennis so much.”

Edmund will play Cameron Norrie on Saturday for a spot in the championship clash. Norrie dispatched Paul Jubb, 6-0, 6-2, in under an hour.

World No. 28 Evans completed running the table in the Greg Rusedski group by battling past an inspired 394th-ranked Ryan Peniston, 6-2, 3-6 [10-4]. 

“I lost a bit of concentration. All credit to Ryan,” assessed Evans. “He stepped up and played some good tennis. It was a dogfight in the end. There's no easy opponent here.”

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A day earlier, it was determined Evans would battle former world No. 1 Andy Murray in the semifinals. The two have never faced off previously on the ATP tour, and Evans doesn't intend on engaging in any smack talk ahead of the showdown.

“I'm going to leave him alone, I guess. He's tough to beat as it is,” he said. “It's going to be great. It's the first time we've played in a competitive match. Hopefully I come out on top.”

For the doubles title, event organizer Jamie Murray and partner Neal Skupski will take on Evans and Lloyd Glasspool. Murray and Skupski topped Jonny O'Mara and Joe Salisbury, 7-6 (2), 2-6 [10-8].

“I'm quite knackered right now. I need like the coldest ice bath ever,” Murray said. “Really glad to be in the final and really excited about that. Today was another battle... Hope all the fans at home are enjoying it. You can see the passion and fire everyone is bringing to the court.”

Evans and Glasspool came through against Edmund and James Ward, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

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