Kyle Edmund’s last junior event did not end in the way he wished as the Brit and his Portuguese partner Frederico Ferreira Silva were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Boys’ Doubles on No.1 Court.
As the current US Open and French Open champions, Edmund and Ferreira Silva were the highly-fancied top seeds here but were beaten 6-4, 7-6(9) by Enzo Couacaud, of France, and Stefano Napolitano, of Italy.
After going an early break down in the opening set, Couacaud and Napolitano fought back to take the first set. The second set was a tighter affair as it went to a tie-break, in which Edmund and Ferreira Silva failed to take three set points before the latter served a double fault on match point down.
Following his first ATP Tour win in Eastbourne two weeks ago, Edmund will now compete full-time on the men’s tour as the 18-year-old looks to improve his ranking of No.385.
In the final, which is the second match on No.3 Court on Sunday, Couacaud and Napolitano will play the Australian pair of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios who beat Italians Filippo Baldi and Matteo Donati 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
For Couacaud, the 18-year-old from Mauritius, it was the first time he had experienced a major show court with Hawk-Eye. “I really wanted to challenge for no reason but I was like: ‘No, stay focused’,” said Couacaud.
“It’s a totally different match to play on No.1 Court with a lot of people watching. You just have to get used to it in the first place. It’s a different feeling. The beginning of the match wasn’t what we expected but then we got into it.”
Couacaud trains at Patrick Mouratoglou’s academy near Paris and has benefited from opportunities to hit with Grigor Dimitrov, Jeremy Chardy and Serena Williams.
“I hit with Serena once or twice,” he said. “It was a great experience. She is a great person, we get along fine and it is just special to play with someone who has many titles.”
Couacaud and Napolitano will face a tough challenge tomorrow as they bid to win their first Grand Slam title. 18-year-old Kyrgios already has a senior ranking of No.218 after taking out Radek Stepanek in straight sets at Roland Garros and is defending champion here, having won last year with Andrew Harris.
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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