Kyle Edmund took out his frustration at Liverpool’s Champions League defeat on Australian youngster Alex De Minaur as he roared into the second round of the French Open.
Edmund made no mistake as he dispatched De Minaur in straight sets, in stark contrast to Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius and the gaffes which gifted the European title to Real Madrid.
Liverpool fan Edmund, who watched the match in a Paris bar with coaches and fellow players, said: “It was sad to lose and the nature of it was annoying, with two easy goals in that fashion. It left just a bit of a sad taste. It was two goalkeeper errors and one amazing goal. You’ll probably never see something like that in a long time.”
Edmund, looking to build on his stunning run to the Australian Open semi-final in January, simply overpowered his 19-year-old opponent.
He broke serve in the first game of the match, took the opening set in just half an hour and went on to wrap up a fine 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“I played pretty well. I was just waiting to get going, anticipating, wanting to execute my game well,” added Edmund.
“Once you get on it, it’s good to really execute it well, especially against a guy like Alex where it can get quite tough easily if you don’t play well.
“So I was pleased with how I managed my game. I did the controllables really well in terms of my game and serving well and when I am on the front foot, not laying back on the point.”
It was an impressive display against a potentially tricky opponent and bodes well for another run deep into a grand slam for Edmund.
De Minaur is a highly-rated player and deceptively powerful despite his small frame. But Edmund, now looking every inch the top-20 player he is, landed the first blow and then never let up. The early break set the tone, while another in the fifth game of the second set, after De Minaur pushed a forehand wide, prompted the youngster to take a ball from his pocket and smash it out of Court Three in frustration.
De Minaur did break back to level at 4-4, however Edmund hit back immediately and held serve to take a 2-0 lead.
It was a ruthless display from Edmund, with breaks in the first and last games of the third set setting up a second-round meeting with Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Rafael Nadal admitted he may have taken it a little too easy as he began his bid for an 11th French Open title.
Nadal’s latest Roland Garros campaign is up and running after a straight-sets – but far from straightforward – win over Simone Bolelli.
The Spaniard – top seed, world No 1, reigning champion and red-hot favourite for another Paris crown – had to return yesterday morning to finish his first-round clash against the Italian. Nadal had taken the first two sets in typically ominous style but then trailed 3-0 in the third when the rain came.
Nadal broke straight back on the resumption but Bolelli did not let him have things his own way, threatening another break at 4-3.
Bolelli then forced four set points in a marathon tie-break but the 16-time grand slam winner got over the line 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (11/9).
“Yeah, I played a match that I have to play more aggressively, I know,” said Nadal. “But it was difficult to play so aggressive being in the first round and against a player who really came on court and decided to play that strong.”
Third seed Marin Cilic made short work of his first-round match, going through 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) against Australian James Duckworth.
Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro dropped the first set against Nicolas Mahut of France but recovered to go through 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.