Wimbledon 2017: Britain's Kyle Edmund shrugs off need for winning run at Wimbledon to boost popularity

 
Ross McLean
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Edmund lost in straight sets to Monfils (Source: Getty)

Britain's Kyle Edmund shrugged off his second-round defeat to France’s Gael Monfils on Centre Court by insisting he can make a name for himself without winning matches at Wimbledon.

Edmund lost in straight sets, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-4, to leave four British players – Sir Andy Murray, Johanna Konta, Aljaz Bedene and Heather Watson – in the last 32 of the competition.

There were some notable shocks on day four of the championships as third seed Karolina Pliskova became the highest-ranked player to exit the women’s draw and world No589 Ernests Gulbis claimed the scalp of Juan Martin del Potro in the men’s.

British No2 Edmund failed to build on his maiden win at SW19 on Tuesday but was adamant that a prolonged run at his home grand slam was not essential to him growing a domestic fanbase.

“People will support me if they want to support me,” said the 22-year-old. “I don’t feel I need a Wimbledon run. And also, I’m not playing for popularity. I’m playing to win and playing for myself or my country if I play in the Davis Cup.

“I think generally the tennis circuit is quite well supported and advertised. I don’t feel I need a run at Wimbledon to boost me – of course it would help – but I don’t need it for my popularity or image or anything like that.”

Despite being a seven-time champion, third seed Roger Federer admitted he was consumed by anxiety during what ultimately proved a regulation, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3, 6-2, victory over world No79 Dusan Lajovic.

“I struggled early on. I couldn’t get rid of the nerves and struggled to find my rhythm,” Federer, who at 35 is bidding to become the oldest Wimbledon winner in the modern era.

“I should feel comfortable here but nerves are a funny thing. Sometimes you get horribly nervous and other times it’s a piece of cake. I’m happy it happened in the second round.”

Federer was joined in round three by fellow heavyweight Novak Djokovic after he dispatched Wimbledon debutant Adam Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. The 30-year-old will now play Latvia’s Gulbis and conqueror of 2009 US Open winner Del Potro.

Czech Pliskova, meanwhile, who won the Aegon International at Eastbourne last month, bowed out after losing to world no87 Magdalena Rybarikova. “I’m speechless right now,” said Rybarikova, who only returned to the tour in February after a seven-month injury absence.

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