British No1 Kyle Edmund insists he ought to be flaying heavyweights such as Novak Djokovic on a regular basis after beating the former world No1 in the second round of the Madrid Open.
The 23-year-old prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes to post his first career victory over the 12-time grand slam champion and set up a third round clash with Belgium’s David Goffin.
Edmund, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, had never previously won a set against Djokovic, but believes he has reached the stage of his career where such triumphs should be commonplace.
“It was a great experience first of all to beat Novak, I’ve lost to him three times,” said Edmund, who is set to surge into the top 20 of the world rankings for the first time following this win.
“He’s a legend so your first match when you share the court is an experience but now, especially after reaching the semis of the Australian Open, it’s time to try and beat these guys and I was very pleased how I managed my game, especially the third set.
“After Australia, I got a little bit ill and didn’t have a great run of results until I reached my first final [in Monaco] so it’s nice to come out here and beat a top player like Novak.
“I knew I wasn’t going to win by rallying with him and trying to beat him at his own game, so it was important to be expressive.”
Edmund is set to carry British hopes at the French Open, the main draw of which begins on 27 May, due to the continued absence of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray following surgery on his right hip in January.
Murray, who has not played competitively since July, was scheduled to make his comeback at the grass court tournament in Rosmalen, Holland next month, although fears are growing he could be forced to miss Wimbledon.
Another luminary of the game in danger of sitting out a grand slam is women’s former world No1 Serena Williams, who has withdrawn from next week’s Italian Open in Rome.
The decision comes hot on the heels of the 36-year-old, who made her comeback in March six months after giving birth, pulling out of the WTA event in Madrid and places her participation at the French Open in doubt.