Tennis Betting: New British number one Edmund ready to kick on
Andy Murray's 12-year reign as Britain's top tennis player ended today. Ralph Ellis looks at how new top dog Kyle Edmund can progress from here...
"The French Open might be another matter where the Roland Garros clay wil be far more suited to his battling, patient game and nearer the time it will be well worth looking at taking a long odds outside punt."
Who'd have thought that a tournament that is the tennis equivalent of Twenty20 cricket could have taught Kyle Edmund how to win five-set matches?
Yet that is exactly how the 24-year-old from Yorkshire - albeit that he's now officially based in the Bahamas - got set on the route to topple Andy Murray as Britain's number one.
Edmund takes over that status today because his world ranking has risen to 24 thanks mainly to his run to the Australian Open semi-finals while Murray, still recovering from hip surgery, is down to 29.
And he deserves the accolade - even though he modestly immediately said that he still thought of the Scot as the real top man - if only for the way he ploughed the cash from the biggest win of his life back into his career.
It was in December 2015 that Edmund won the Tie Break Tens at the Royal Albert Hall, a fun "instant tennis" tournament, which just happened to carry a £180,000 first prize.
Invested in coaching team
He used some of it as a deposit on a London flat, but invested the rest into beefing up his support team hiring the Swedish coach Frederick Rosengren to work alongside Mark Hilton and also improving his access to fitness coaches and physios.
A year later he was strong enough to win some of those epic five-set battles in Melbourne, and has put himself in an even better position to kick his career on and get really serious.
Can he follow the Holy Grail and be another Brit to win Wimbledon? Probably not because grass is not his best surface.
But the French Open might be another matter where the Roland Garros clay wil be far more suited to his battling, patient game and nearer the time it will be well worth looking at taking a long odds outside punt.
Edmund is arriving in California this week to prepare for Indian Wells and then Miami, where on hard courts similar to Melbourne he could add a few more points to his computer rankings. Having not played since Australia because of first a minor hip injury and then flu, they become two important tournaments to build on his progress.
Murray plans Queen's comeback
Ironically Murray has played a huge part in Edmund's progress to become only the 12th man to be British number one since the start of the Open era 52 years ago.
He has mentored the up and coming talent through Davis Cup weekends and inviting him to join training blocks and shown him the sort of standards needed to reach the top.
Reports say Murray himself is making good progress recovering from his hip surgery, and on target to make his comeback at Queen's before he then contests Wimbledon. Currently [7.6] third favourite he has a lot to do to be strong enough to justify that price.
His strategy will be to miss the clay court season entirely - just as Roger Federer did last year - and there's talk of the LTA arranging a special tournament at Loughborough to help him warm up.
For Murray it is all about rediscovering the fitness and staying power to play five-set matches. Exactly the secret that has seen Edmund end his 12-year reign as Britain's number one.