Edmund Soars To Indian Wells Challenger Crown
When Kyle Edmund entered the week in Indian Wells, he remained in search of his first match win of the 2019 season. The British No. 1 achieved that and then some, notching five wins in five days to capture the title.
Edmund turned in a ruthless display in Sunday's final of the Oracle Challenger Series - Indian Wells, dominating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2 in just 54 minutes. In front of former World No. 2 Michael Chang and Oracle executive chairman Larry Ellison, Edmund fired nine aces and won an impressive 82 per cent (36/44) of total service points to triumph.
The 24-year-old is just four months removed from capturing his maiden ATP Tour title in Antwerp, but fell victim to a knee injury in the subsequent weeks. In search of match wins and an injection of confidence, he entered the ATP Challenger Tour stop in Indian Wells and the decision would pay dividends.
The World No. 27 streaked past Tommy Robredo and Lukas Rosol, before rallying past eighth seed Yannick Maden and overcoming fifth seed Lloyd Harris in Saturday's semis. And in his first meeting with Rublev in nearly four years, he blitzed the Russian star without dropping serve.
It was Edmund's sixth Challenger title in total, having dominated on the circuit in the early stages of his career. He kicked off his successful start with a title in Hong Kong in 2015 as a 20-year-old, followed by victories in Binghamton, Buenos Aires, Dallas and Rome.
Rublev, meanwhile, enjoyed one of the best weeks of his fledgling career in reaching the final. An ATP Tour champion in Umag in 2017, he also won a Challenger title in Quimper, France the year prior. The 21-year-old, a former World No. 31, is pushing towards a Top 100 return after battling a back injury last year.
Kyle Edmund (@kyle8edmund) March 3, 2019
Both Edmund and Rublev are gearing for a deep run at next week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year. The Brit will appear in the main draw for the fourth straight year, while Rublev is poised to battle through qualifying.