Kyle Edmund reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career, beating American qualifier Bradley Klahn to set up a meeting with Novak Djokovic.
A second left-handed qualifier in succession proved no match for the British No 1, who did not face a single break point on serve as he powered his way to a 6-4 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 victory in less than two hours.
On Saturday, among England’s World Cup campaign and qualifying for the British Grand Prix, Edmund takes on three-time champion Djokovic, who showed flashes of his brilliant best with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory over Horacio Zeballos.
A slight concern for Djokovic came when needed to call his trainer towards the end of the contest due to a thigh injury. Edmund will head into the encounter having beaten the former world No 1 in Madrid earlier this year in their last meeting.
Edmund’s Wimbledon Path R1 beat Alex Bolt 6-2 6-3 7-5 R2 beat Bradley Klahn 6-4 7-6 6-2 R3 v Novak Djokovic Saturday R4 v Tiafoe/Khachanov QF v Kyrgios/Zverev SF Nadal F Federer
Until last year’s Championships, Court No 3 was as good as it got for the current British No 1 – a combination of Andy Murray’s status and Edmund’s own struggles on grass meant that a second-round defeat to Gael Monfils last year was the 23-year-old’s Centre Court debut.
This year he has climbed the rankings, reached a first Grand Slam semi-final, a first ATP final and claimed a first ATP doubles title while ascending to the role of Britain’s top player.
Edmund had little trouble in seeing off Klahn who, before this week, had only won two Grand Slam matches in his career, both at the US Open. He has also never beaten a top-20 player.
It did not take Edmund long to make his mark, breaking in the opening game of the match after forcing five break points on the American’s opening service game.
Klahn began to find his range, uncorking a couple of accurate forehands, but he was unable to make a mark on the 21st seed’s serve and Edmund duly closed out the opener in 40 minutes.
With neither player working an opening on the other’s serve, the 27-year-old Californian was forced to improvise and a notable pirouette drop-shot drew particular admiration, but it was Edmund who seized the moment, running away with the tie-breaker for the second set.
And the theme continued with Edmund’s dominance on his serve putting Klahn under pressure and he wilted, broken in the sixth and eighth games of the third set as the home favourite delighted the Centre Court crowd.
Earlier in the day, Djokovic repeated his straight-sets success of the first round and dropped just six games in sending Zeballos packing with a comprehensive victory.
The Argentine, despite the occasional flash of brilliance, was no match for the Serb who took the first set in just 22 minutes and 25 minutes later was one game away from the second.
Moving with freedom and unloading his full arsenal of shots, Djokovic eased through the remainder of the contest to book his date with Edmund.
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