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Kyle Edmund wins amid rain delays at Auckland

Laver Cup Tennis

Team Europe’s Kyle Edmund hits a return during a men’s singles tennis match against Team World’s Jack Sock at the Laver Cup, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young)


AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Kyle Edmund outlasted wildcard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 on Tuesday in a first-round match at the ASB Classic which stretched over almost 7-1/2 hours because of rain delays.

The pair had barely begun the center court contest at noon when steady rain forced them from the court for almost four hours. They returned sporadically through the afternoon and into the evening before Edmund, ranked 69th, finally clinched his win near 7:30 p.m.

Edmund had been dominant in the first set as Davidovich Fokina, ranked 85th and regarded as one of the potential next generation of stars on the ATP Tour, struggled to find him rhythm.

Davidovich Fokina found his way into the match in a second set punctuated by rain breaks, hitting hard from the baseline to match Edmund’s power.

The match was still in the balance when the pair went back in the early evening at the start of the third set and Edmund immediately captured the vital break. He then held on, sometimes under extreme pressure, to seal victory on his second match pint.

Davidovich Fokina revealed a wide array of shots from delicate drop shots to lobs and powerful forehands down the line. But he made a number of errors on pressure points which cost him the match.

“I had to fight a lot, dig in on a lot of points,” Edmund said. “But I’m happy. I don’t think I did too much wrong. He upped his level a lot, became very aggressive in the second and the third sets but it’s good to get a win under my belt.

“When you have a break like we did, he was finishing very well and getting on top. But coming out of that break you’ve got to stay on it and to break him at 1-0, he made unforced errors. There were small margins out there and it helped me a lot.”

Vasek Pospisil beat Jaoa Sousa 6-4, 6-2 in the only other first-round match completed early Tuesday.