KYLE Edmund earned the bragging rights from yesterday’s all-British showdown with friend Jonny O’Mara as he reached the Wimbledon boys’ quarter-finals.
The 18-year-olds, the last remaining British juniors in the singles, are long-time friends, having met at an under-12s tournament in Corby.
Beverley-based Edmund has even been giving Arbroath’s O’Mara a lift to Wimbledon this week, with the latter posting a photo on Twitter of yesterday morning’s journey saying the “banter’s flying around”.
There has been verbal jousting in the build-up as well, with the Scottish wild card gleefully pointing out that he won their only ever previous meeting. However, Andy Murray’s sometime practice partner Edmund made amends by winning yesterday’s last-16 clash 6-3, 6-2, on Court 14.
Edmund said of the occasion: “It was hard because he is a friend and it’s not nice that you are beating him. It was a horrible feeling to play him. I didn’t enjoy it.”
Edmund, seeded fifth, promised O’Mara a lift home and it appeared their relationship was still as strong as ever. Yesterday’s match was their first against each other since the Corby Grand Prix six years go. “The banter was flying this morning and it will be flying on the way home,” O’Mara said. “We take on from where we left off. It is just a tennis match and I wish him all the best for the quarter-finals and I would absolutely love it if he could win the whole tournament.
“If he plays like that, I don’t see why he can’t win it. I don’t see people beating him if he plays like that.” If Edmund beats America’s Stefan Kozlov in the last eight and goes on to win the title, he will be the first British male to win the boys’ tournament in SW19 for 51 years.
The South Africa-born teenager, who played in the main draw for the first time this year and is ranked 385th in the men’s game, is not getting ahead of himself though.
“I’m playing well,” he said, “but I just want to think about my next match.”