Kyle Edmund commits to Davis Cup tie against Spain

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Kyle Edmund has given Great Britain’s Davis Cup team a boost by committing to travelling to next week’s first-round tie against Spain.

The 23-year-old struggled with a minor hip problem during his semi-final defeat to Marin Cilic at the Australian Open on Thursday, a result that halted his stunning run in Melbourne.

Edmund made it clear after the match that he hoped to go to Marbella, where he is due to lead Britain’s team for arguably the toughest test in the competition, away to Spain on clay.

It is a tight turnaround, with Edmund due to arrive back in London on Saturday and the team set to fly to Spain on Monday to begin their preparations, but the Yorkshireman’s spokesman confirmed he is hopeful of being ready to play.

Edmund’s great leap forward in Australia came after a season where his ranking was stuck in the high 40s. Now he will sit in the mid-20s and has already ticked a lot of the boxes he hoped to achieve in 2018.

“I didn’t want a third year of being around that same ranking,” he said. “I know my ability was better, but there’s no point just saying you can be better. That was a goal. Of course doing well in the bigger events, and I wanted to win a lot more closer matches.

“The start of the year has been really good for that, so there’s a lot of learning. I have taken away confidence from that. Definitely in the short term, stuff that we have talked about is improving, but tennis doesn’t stop.

“Players get hungry from losing. Next week is another tournament and the week after that. It’s important to keep the ball rolling.”

Edmund’s stunning run alerted the wider tennis world to his considerable talents, with pundits and former players lining up to anoint him as a future top-10 or top-five player.

Coach Fredrik Rosengren has no doubt he has the potential but the 57-year-old knows there is a lot more to it than that.

He said: “For me there’s never any obstacles, it’s completely up to Kyle – how much work he wants to put in, how much desire he has to really be up there. You have players on tour, they could be much higher but they’re pretty much happy to be 30, or 25, or 50.

“I have worked with five top-10 guys and, when you reach that ranking, everything changes. It’s much more stress and you have to love that. But he has all the tools, I 100 per cent believe in that.

“It’s much more about managing everything. Learn to understand that you can’t play like top 10 every day. It’s much more important to find a way to win matches when it’s ugly. If he plays well, he wins seven or eight matches out of 10.”

When the rankings are updated on Monday, Edmund will only be 293 points behind Andy Murray and guaranteed to replace him as British number one once the Scot’s points for winning Dubai last season come off on March 5.

Murray has held top spot domestically for 12 years and during that time has helped Edmund and numerous other young British players.

Rosengren believes it is in Edmund’s interests for the Scot to recover from hip surgery as quickly as possible.

“I think it’s great for Kyle to have somebody who makes him better in the country,” said the Swede. “I’m sure Andy helped him so much with these practice sessions, off-season camps. I’m pretty sure Kyle wants Andy to be as good as possible to help him be as good as possible.”

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