Kyle Edmund speaks to the media after the 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win against Alex Ward
Q. Slightly wobbly start. You got a grip of it after that, didn't you?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I lost my opening game. Happens in tennis. Yeah, just best-of-five set match, so losing your serve doesn't mean you're going to lose a match. It's a long match, long momentum swings as well.
I just tried to use the experience I have, stay calm. I wasn't obviously playing my best at the start. Once I sort of got in the match and played my best, then you can see what chances you have. I was just pleased I was able to turn it and just really keep the momentum till the end.
Q. You must have been looking at that as a pretty awkward encounter for you, with everything to lose.
KYLE EDMUND: Well, it's awkward because he's a qualifier. Anyone who plays a qualifier will say they've had matches under their belt, and they've obviously won three of them. They're in a good place.
I've qualified before at slams, know what it feels like to have those three matches, feel match tight.
Yeah, in that sense it was tricky. Also it's only my third match on grass. I felt like I had been practicing well. It's one thing practicing and then trying to do it in the match, put it on to the match court, which I was very keen to do.
It was nice I was able to play some good tennis at the end, get through it basically.
Q. We asked you plenty of questions about it before. Now that you've done it, how satisfying is it to get your first win here?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it's nice to just win in general. Especially, I guess, just 'cause you're British, it's the one tournament you want to do well in more than any other tournament, I guess. More, I guess, from your heart, like as a kid, you watch this sort of event.
To actually say that I've won one now is nice to say, in terms of like a professional tennis point of view. I mean, it's just one match. It's important not to get so high from the win. You try not to get so low from a loss.
But like you said, it's definitely nice to do it. I've had enough losses, so it's nice to actually win a match in a senior event now.
Q. Was it more awkward because it was another Brit against you?
KYLE EDMUND: No. Just like was said, just more because it's a qualifier. Like I said, anyone who's qualified has played matches.
I've played Brits in the past. I played Andy a couple times. Played Evo a couple times. I've been around the guy. It wasn't so awkward in that sense.
Like, I get on well with Wardy. He's a really nice guy. Get on well with him off the court. Then once you go on the court, you have to get on with it and play for yourself.
I get on with guys that are not British. Like I get on with some Aussie guys, there's a few American guys I get on with well. When you go on court, everyone knows it's just head down, get on with it really. Once you get off the court, then you can be mates again.
Q. Does your mentality shift going from a match where you were a strong favorite to one where you're now going to be the underdog?
KYLE EDMUND: Well, I don't know. I mean, only underdog on paper, you know. Yeah, I just go out there, just same thing: trying to play my game basically. I don't look at it as because I'm a favorite or an underdog, I don't play any differently. I wouldn't say that.
I just try and play my game every time I step out on the court, and problem solve once I'm out there. As the match goes along, especially today, you learn things. I find you can have game plans going into it. But the percentage or ratio of game plans working a whole match is very little. You have to problem solve while you're out there.
Each match is different in its own way, not so much because of the ranking but because of the styles of players.
Q. Talk to me about the challenge that Monfils provides.
KYLE EDMUND: I haven't watched him play that much. I watched him a little bit when he played Novak on the grass.
Just from knowing him throughout the years, he's obviously a very good athlete, moves well, makes a lot of balls. He has very, very easy power when he wants to hit it. Sometimes I think he likes to put more balls in play, maybe use his movement to win points.
But, you know, it will be tough. He's obviously made the final last week, playing well. He's got good confidence. Yeah, just go out there and play really. I mean, whoever it is, I'll just go and play. I can't read into it too much.
Q. I guess everyone's experience is personal. Can you articulate what it's like, the pressure to play as a British player at Wimbledon?
KYLE EDMUND: I don't know really. I mean, I got asked this the other day. You, like, really want to do well basically. So maybe you don't relax into the game as much. Some people really thrive in it. Like you said, it's individual.
But, yeah, it's hard to say really. Well, hard to explain just because I've lost, like, four first rounds. I got asked this before the match. Going into it, you know, what do I do if I lose another one and it's five, it's another loss.
I just move on. I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to cry over it. There's more opportunities after that. The whole year is so long. So I just try and rationalize it as much as possible and put it into perspective.
Like today, it's nice to win. But, you know, it's just a tennis match at the end of the day. It's one round out of seven, which is the reality.
I don't know. There's always some pressure playing tennis, like, through yourself, wanting to win. So, yeah, it's tough to really say.
I don't feel like I'm under pressure to win. Like I don't feel that. If I look at it, if I lose, I lost a tennis match, but nothing changes. I still move on.
Obviously you care about tennis. You know, it's hard to really just play with passion but also have the mindset of it's all right if I lose. It's getting the balance.
Q. Another interview took place a few minutes ago with Bernard Tomic from Australia, looked like he had a back injury on court. When he was asked about it. He said, no, he was just using it as a tactic to change the momentum of the game. Essentially he was faking it. Does that strike you as a legitimate strategy, something you might employ?
KYLE EDMUND: I have no idea. That's Bernard's opinion. I've never personally had that strategy.
But, yeah, I don't really know. I didn't see it and stuff. It's hard for me to say what he was doing or not.
But, don't know. He might have had an injury and just didn't want to say. He just used that as a strategy, but he's actually injured, you don't know.
Q. What was the atmosphere like out there for you?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it was fine. I mean, unfortunately I've been in matches where I've been losing and stuff, in front of a British crowd, especially here. When you're losing, as well, you get down because you're really wanting to do well and stuff. So it was nice today just to play, you know, with some freedom.
It's tough for me to say that because we're both British. We were both getting applause and support. It was nice. Just for me, it's really nice to get a win in Wimbledon, like in the UK, because I haven't had many of them. From that point of view, it's good.
Q. I don't think you every played Gael on the tour. Will you speak to Andy before the game, as he knows him from the juniors?
KYLE EDMUND: Possibly. At the same time, same chance I won't. Just because he's just getting on with his tournament. I'm getting on with mine.
He's always very approachable. But sometimes, you know, I'm happy working things out on my own, speaking to people off court about it.
But, yeah, I have asked Andy some stuff before about opponents, but not every time. Maybe if it works out, I will. But he's got a match tomorrow. You would think generally players just want to be left alone in the evenings to relax, maybe switch off a bit. Yeah, maybe yes, maybe no.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, like I said, his movement is something I look at a lot. He looks effortlessly because he's a very good athlete and he covers the ground very quickly. You don't really take notice of it, but he almost gets it without very much effort. That's what I find with him.
So, yeah, it will be difficult, like, for me to break him down. He has very easy power. At the same time it's a grass court, so it's a little bit easier, you know, to hit through the court because of the nature of it, and also you can wrong-foot or get players out of position a little bit easier on the grass and finish the points.
Q. Do you pay attention to the other Brits? Do you get a boost from others winning?
KYLE EDMUND: I always look out for them. I was watching Aljaz last night in the flat, when he beat Karlovic. Yeah, it wasn't an exciting match to watch, I'll be honest, because there were no rallies. But no breaks of serve, tiebreaks, a typical grass court match with play going on serve.
When he did win, it was nice. He's been in the UK for a bit of time now, so people know him. He definitely got the home support.
But, yeah, I do take notice. It's sort of hard not to, as well, when Andy is on, Jo is on, they're on big courts. I get on really well with Liam Broady. His sister is playing. I was speaking to him a little bit about the match.
Yeah, I do take notice. I don't know about them, but for me I take notice, get on with my own self, prepare for the match.