Kyle Edmund holds nerve to knock Novak Djokovic out of Madrid Open

Posted May 10, 2018

"It was a great experience to beat Novak; I've lost to him three times", Edmund said.

Earlier this year, Djokovic, now the World No. 12, underwent surgery for a right elbow injury, which has marred his last few seasons.

Novak Djokovic certainly didn't waste time when he sailed into the professional waters, winning his first Futures title at the age of 16, the first Challenger just a day after turning 17 and the first ATP title back in Amersfoort in 2006.

"At this tournament it's really nice that I know I can play my best tennis", Halep said. "There are positives to take out from this".

Djokovic lost to Martin Klizan in the first round of the Barcelona Open and will have to go back to the drawing board again with the French Open fast approaching after he was second best to Edmund on Manolo Santana.

World number one Rafael Nadal will continue his quest for sixth Madrid Open title when he squares off with Argentinean tennis star Diego Schwartzman in the last-16 clash of the men's singles event here on Thursday.

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'He has improved, obviously, his backhand, ' Djokovic said. "It's something I have to accept, I have to embrace".

Djokovic now has 18 days of rest before he will aim to break his poor form as play gets underway at Roland Garros.

"Small things happen that normally when you're in a good momentum, those things don't happen". "But I have to keep working on them and pray that. and hope that my game will get stronger".

Edmund held on to his advantage and closed out the opening set with his third break, as Djokovic struggled.

Djokovic has won 12 major titles but a year ago failed to reach a final at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2009.

Despite his 6-6 win-loss match record since return from the elbow injury, Djokovic tried to put his slump into perspective. I've played this sport so many years and had a bunch of success. "I try to always remind myself and be grateful for that", he said.

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"At the same time, nobody is forcing me to play this sport". I want to do it.

"That's where I draw my strength".

"I knew I wasn't going to win by rallying with him and trying to beat him at his own game, so it was important to be expressive". Edmund is a different beast this year to the often callow figure who kept losing tight matches in 2017, and was as gritty as we've ever seen him in disposing of Djokovic yesterday.

"I think Novak, step-by-step, is going to be able to recover and be at the level he deserves".

The world number one's latest victory means he has won 48 sets in a row on clay, one behind John McEnroe - who set the record on carpet.

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