Kyle Edmund loses to Paolo Lorenzi in US Open first round
Edmund suffers first-round loss at a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2016
Last Updated: 27/08/18 10:48pm
British No 1 Kyle Edmund was hampered by cramp as he lost in four sets to world No 94 Paolo Lorenzi in the US Open first round.
The world No 16 struggled with his movements towards the latter stages of the third set in humid conditions at Flushing Meadows and despite his best efforts to combat the pain, was beaten 4-6 6-4 7-5 6-1.
Edmund arrived in New York on the back of a disappointing hard-court series in North America, affected by illness and a loss of form, but was optimistic of producing some of the tennis which saw him reach the Australian Open semi-finals in January.
"Physically I need to get better. It's an indication of where I'm at," said Edmund.
"For sure I'm disappointed I'm like this but I've just got to get better. It's nothing new to me. It's a shame it ended like it did because it's pretty horrible."
Lorenzi will now face Guido Pella in the second round after the Argentine defeated qualifier Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 6-1.
Edmund, 23, had the better of three successive breaks at the start of the match before he used his aggressive forehand to good effect to take the first set against the experienced Italian.
Lorenzi, who reached the fourth round in New York last year, grew in confidence as he got to grips with Edmund's bigger hitting from the baseline before levelling up the match with a decisive break at the end of the second set.
Edmund began the third set in encouraging fashion as he broke Lorenzi for the third time in the match but he was unable to consolidate the advantage.
Just like in the second set Edmund was broken late, this time from 40-0, to fall behind for the first time in the match as cramp had set in, leaving him unable to push off to chase down balls.
Lorenzi knew he was in the ascendancy and maintained his command in proceedings losing only one game in the fourth set to secure his first victory over a top-20 opponent on a hard court.
Edmund will now weigh up whether to play in Great Britain's Davis Cup play-off against Uzbekistan next month or whether to allow his body time to rest.
He said: "There's no crystal ball, no one really knows the answers. My mentality is always to try and work. Sitting on the sofa doesn't improve your fitness. Davis Cup is two weeks away so I'll do everything I can."
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