Former British No 1 Kyle Edmund ready to play his first match since October 2020 in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon… as he hopes to return from being a ‘professional rehabber’ to near the top of the singles game after having three knee surgeries
- Kyle Edmund is to play a competitive tennis match for the first time since 2020
- The former World No 14 has been out after undergoing three knee surgeries
- Edmund will team up with Olivia Nicholls in the mixed doubles on Friday
- He has set his sights on returning to near the top of the singles game
On Friday morning, for the first time since October 2020, Kyle Edmund will wake up as a tennis player again.
After three surgeries on a relentlessly painful left knee, the former world No14 will return to Wimbledon for the mixed doubles, the first tentative step on a road which he hopes will lead back to somewhere near the top of the singles game.
‘That’s ultimately the goal, but right now it’s just enjoying being here,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t able to pick a racquet up for five or six months. It was just too sore. It was sore to go up and down stairs.
Kyle Edmund will play his first match since October 2020 in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon
Edmund, a former British No 1 and World No 14, has been out of action for the best part of two years
‘So to be at this tournament, even if it is the mixed doubles, it’s a start.
‘At times I was like, “I don’t know where this is going. I don’t know how I’m going to get back playing”. So it feels like a reward to be here.’
A sledgehammer forehand was the bedrock of a game that brought Edmund two titles and saw him reach the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. His knee forced him to miss a chunk of the 2020 season and surgeries followed in November of that year, March 2021 and April 2022.
Edmund will never truly be free of pain but is hopes to return to near the top of the singles game
Edmund will be partnered by Olivia Nicholls in the mixed doubles on Friday, where they will play American pair Coco Gauff and Jack Sock
The 27-year-old will never be truly free of the pain, but he can see a slit of light at the end of a tunnel of darkness and doubt.
‘It’s not like now I’ve had three ops it’s all fixed,’ he admitted. ‘I will constantly be dealing with it. But I’m happy where I’m at. I can enjoy playing now and just wake up and be a tennis player rather than a professional rehabber, which was what I was feeling for a long time.
‘There were times when I felt I’d lost my identity. Like, ‘I’ve only known tennis, I’m a tennis player. So now I don’t have that, what am I doing? Every time I wake up in the morning, I have no purpose’.
‘To be around here every day… it’s just a really nice feeling.’
Edmund and Olivia Nicholls face American duo Coco Gauff and Jack Sock on Friday. A very tough draw, but Edmund will cherish every precious moment.