After many twists and turns, the Swede finally upset the former world No. 1 7-6 (8) 4-6 6-1 to advance to the second round of the City open. It was Ymer’s first match on a hard court since February.
“I’m excited,” Ymer said in his on-pitch interview. “It was the first day [of the U.S. swing]so obviously there’s still work to be done, but it’s a very good start to American swing.”
Both men showed physical problems in various places, but the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals Alumnus stormed through the third set and triumphed after two hours and 50 minutes.
After holding four set points in the first set and taking a 3-1 lead in the second set, Ymer was in complete control. Murray had to stretch his legs several times and regret missed opportunities. With each of his four set points in the first set – one at 6-5 and three more in the tie-break – he was in a winnable position at the point but failed to convert.
“Obviously it was disappointing. I thought there was good tennis in the first set. After that we both had a bit of physical problems. The level of tennis wasn’t great,” Murray said. “Obviously I had chances to equalize in the first set. I had put in a point at 6-5, then… three in the tie-break and didn’t get it.”
Midway through the second set, Ymer suddenly started missing shots and showed signs of his own physical discomfort, giving Murray a boost of energy. The Scot won five of the last six games of the second set to capture the momentum.
After the set break, however, the 46-time tour-level world champion made an unforced forehand error to miss a break and was never able to get back into the match. Ymer looked totally refreshed and despite a hiccup on serve 4-0, he ended his win to take on the 15th seed Aslan Karatsev.
“I think maybe he seemed to cramp up a bit in the second set but he recovered absolutely fine after the break at the end of the set [second] set to. Went off to change and cool off a bit and he recovered well for the third while I didn’t really. Yeah, just frustrating,” Murray said. “Actually, I got a cramp right at the end of one of my matches in Newport. Really hot and humid. Normally I like to play in such conditions.
“I’ve been struggling with that a bit in the last two tournaments. I need to take a look at it with my team and maybe figure out why and make some changes.”
Three surgeries on his left knee had kept Edmund away for 21 months. Now he will play countryman Daniel Evans for a spot in the third round in Washington.
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“It’s very rewarding. During the long periods that I was on the road — I didn’t pick up a racquet for five months — it was those events that made me imagine what I would be like out here,” Edmund said. “It’s something you miss, feeling the excitement, the audience hearing, playing under pressure.
“I didn’t find it easy today. He’s a very tricky player and very energetic, but I kept telling myself I’d worked too hard not to do it [give my all]. I persevered and got my reward at the end.”
American Denis Kudlwho grew up in nearby College Park, Maryland, ran past the compatriot Michael Mmoha qualifier, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. JJ Wolf was another American to advance, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over the Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.