Kyle Edmund became the second top 16 seed casualty of the men’s draw on day 1 of Australian Open 2019, beaten by fellow former semi-finalist Thomas Berdych 6-3 6-0 7-5.
The No.13 seed, who reached the last four at Melbourne Park in 2018, joins No.9 seed John Isner among Monday’s also-rans after failing to make any impact against 2014 and 2015 semi-finalist Berdych. The Czech hammered 37 winners to the Briton’s 25 in an impressive return to form, setting up a second-round showdown with Robin Haase.
“It’s been a very long six months that I was out,” said Berdych, who briefly contemplated retirement while recovering from a back injury that ruled him out of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018.
“I was feeling really good on court. I like this Melbourne heat; it’s been so many years that I’ve loved coming back.
“The draw for the first round was very difficult – I was not seeded – and playing Kyle for the first match is not easy. I’m very pleased with the way I played, and it’s a good sign for me for the rest of the tournament.”