Kyle Edmund loses his battle of wounded knee and exits French Open

Kyle Edmund is battling to be fit in time for Wimbledon. Picture: Getty.
Kyle Edmund is battling to be fit in time for Wimbledon. Picture: Getty.
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Kyle Edmund revealed he has been battling a chronic knee problem all season after retiring during his second-round match at the French Open, but he is hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon.

The British No 1 was trailing Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (3), 6-3, 2-1 when he called for the trainer, flexed his left knee a few times and shook hands with his opponent. “I just wasn’t happy with my knee,” Edmund said. “So I didn’t feel it was obviously right to carry on. I’ve been dealing with it for quite a while. So it’s not anything new. It’s just been having to manage it.”

Edmund did not want to expand further on the issue, which first surfaced at the end of last season when he pulled out of the Paris Masters, citing fluid behind his knee.

Asked whether he could be a doubt for Wimbledon, he said: “Obviously I hope not. I’ll try and do everything I can. But it’s not like this is what you’ve got to do, this is how you’re going to get fixed, or this is the time.

“You just have to do the best you can and do rational things to get it better. This is professional sport. You’re dealing with things every day, so it’s nothing new.”

Dominic Thiem, meanwhile, had no issue with Alexander Bublik’s underarm serves but found his unorthodox game a real problem before battling his way into the third round.

Bublik likes to use his full repertoire during matches and pulled out the underarm serve on three occasions before going down 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 7-5 to the fourth seed.

It has been an increasingly familiar sight on the men’s tour since Nick Kyrgios used it against Rafael Nadal in Acapulco in February, with the Spaniard later accusing his opponent of lacking respect.

Thiem said: “I expected it. To be honest, it’s a good choice against players like us who are that far behind the baseline. There is nothing bad about it.”

Novak Djokovic brushed aside Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

“I played as much as I needed to play to win in straight sets,” said Djokovic who will next face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso, who surprisingly beat 26th seed Gilles Simon.

Fifth seed Alexander Zverev won in straight sets for only the second time at Roland Garros, beating Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3). Eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro was given a real examination by Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka but came through 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 ,6-7 (5/7), 6-2. Home favourite Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and will take on another compatriot next in wild card Antoine Hoang, who upset 23rd seed Fernando Verdasco.

Last year’s quarter-finalist Diego Schwartzman was another seed to fall, the Argentine losing in four sets to countryman Leonardo Mayer.