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Kyle Edmund was beaten by Casper Ruud on his return to grand slam tennis but gave a decent account of himself against the fifth seed at the US Open.
Edmund had not played a singles match at any of tennis’ biggest events since the US Open in 2020, after which he underwent three knee operations before finally making his return earlier this summer.
He was given a very tough draw against French Open finalist Ruud, who is a contender for the title, and came up short in a 6-3 7-5 6-2 defeat in sweltering conditions at Flushing Meadows.
But Edmund should feel encouraged that he is not too far away as he treads the long road back to what he hopes will be a return to the higher echelons of the game.
“It wasn’t too bad,” said the Yorkshireman. “The conditions were tough today, hot and humid, but overall it’s one of them where maybe what I felt going in was what happened.
“At certain times I’d like to have done stuff better and need to do stuff better but at the same time there are some positives to take considering the moment I’m in right now. I don’t want to lose first round all the time but, considering where I’ve been, it’s OK.”
Ranked as high as 14th in the world in 2018, the year he also made the semi-finals of the Australian Open, Edmund had been troubled by the knee issue for some time before deciding he needed to step away from the court.
The former British number one’s big weapon, his thumping forehand, was still very much in evidence as he took on Ruud, but the Norwegian has firepower of his own.
After losing the opening set, Edmund threatened a comeback when he fought back from a break down to make it 5-5 in the second.
But the 27-year-old could not find the dominance on serve that he needed and was ultimately too error prone to really trouble Ruud.
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