Tennis Expert & Columnist
US Open: Kyle Edmund capable of Australian Open repeat at Flushing Meadows, says Barry Cowan
Barry Cowan also discusses hopes for Johanna Konta in New York
Last Updated: 27/08/18 9:22pm
Kyle Edmund can replicate his run to the Australian Open semi-final in the final Grand Slam of the season at Flushing Meadows, says Sky Sports analyst Barry Cowan.
The British No 1 produced a breakthrough performance on the major stage in Melbourne but has since battled for consistent form after suffering with injury and illness.
Edmund, 23, has since reached the third round of both the French Open and Wimbledon and, despite the expected return to Grand Slam tennis for Andy Murray, there are hopes of a good run in New York after a disappointing North American hard court season.
"He is capable of repeating what he achieved at the Australian Open where for Kyle that was a huge breakthrough," Cowan told Sky Sports.
"He came into that Grand Slam lacking in wins when it got deep into a match. [But] he was able to win that five-setter against Kevin Anderson in the first round and he didn't really look back.
"By reaching the last four - as great an achievement as it was and it was phenomenal - that didn't necessarily equate to him being a top-10 player.
Kyle Edmund at Grand Slams in 2018
|French Open||Third round|
"I still felt as if there were areas in his game [that could be better], although he has improved massively as a player over the past year.
"What was difficult afterwards, was that he was being shot at, hunted at as opposed to Kyle coming in as an underdog and no one really talking about him. It has been a difficult period for him since then.
"He had a couple of illnesses prior to Indian Wells and post-Wimbledon, injury prior to the Davis Cup."
Edmund is fine-tuning his preparations for the final Grand Slam by playing at the Winston-Salem Open this week, and Cowan believes that event could go a long way in deciding how he will fare in New York.
"Winston-Salem becomes a key tournament for Kyle," Cowan said. "He is a player that needs momentum coming into the bigger tournaments.
Edmund's form during North American hard court series
|Rogers Cup - Toronto||First round|
|Cincinnati Masters||Second round|
"He had that in Australia after he played well in Brisbane. I am watching his form closely this week.
"If he does do well - reaches semi-finals, final or even wins the title which is also going to be the next step - then he will go to New York in confident fashion.
"On the flip-side if he loses early then he is going into the US Open in not too dissimilar fashion to Wimbledon, which was on the back of a lack of wins.
"It is very hard to turn that around because it is so important to go into the Grand Slams with form and that is why Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic stand out above the rest."
Fellow British No 1 Johanna Konta will aim to overcome her struggles at the majors this year with a strong showing in New York, at an event where she has previously reached the fourth round in both 2015 and 2016.
Konta ended last season ranked world No 9, having reached the Wimbledon semi-finals, but this year has managed only two victories across the first three Grand Slam events.
"I just don't see her form at this year's Grand Slams turning around in time for the US Open," Cowan said about Konta, who is featuring this week at the Connecticut Open.
"Again, like with Kyle, she needed momentum and she hasn't been able to get that.
"The win against Serena was exceptional but I think it is fair to say Serena was not playing at her best. Since the Serena victory in San Jose it has been a case of two steps forward and one step back.
You can't just flip a switch and find form. [Konta] needs wins going into big events.
"Mentally she is not at the same level as she was a year ago. The difficulty she has had shows the strength in depth there is within the game. Once you get out of that top 16 it is difficult because then at the big tournaments you are not seeded.
"You can't just flip a switch and find form. She needs wins going into big events."
Konta - now ranked world No 46 - suffered a dismal end to her 2017 campaign, failing to win after August and Cowan sees an opportunity for the three-time winner on the WTA Tour to rise back up the rankings before the end of the season.
Konta's form during North American hard court series
|Silicon Valley Classic - San Jose||Quarter-final|
|Rogers Cup - Montreal||Last-16|
|Cincinnati Masters||First round|
|Connecticut Open||Second round|
"I think in the bigger picture it is not about next week but the rest of the year and getting her ranking back up inside the world's top 20.
"She is very capable of doing that, having been there before, and if she is able to do that then her chances of impressing at the Australian Open next year increase.
"When she has done well at the majors - at the Australian Open in 2016 and Wimbledon last year - she had momentum going in."
Johanna Konta at Grand Slams in 2018
|Australian Open||Second round|
|French Open||First round|
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