Kyle Edmund believes his UK Pro League Tennis triumph is the biggest boost yet to his long-awaited return to the top table. Tormented by knee trouble, the former British number one had been out of action for 18 months until making a tentative comeback on the recent US hard court swing. Edmund restated his credentials on home soil by winning the UK Pro League men’s final, joining Emma Raducanu on the tournament’s roll of honour. The 27-year-old beat Dan Cox 6-2 6-3 in the final to be crowned champion of the only domestic league for the top UK tennis professionals. Edmund said:
“For me to be back on court is a bit of a win and I am just enjoying that right now, being able to compete,”
“I said to myself that I was going to play but I have only just started to feel like I can play daily again.
“I was in a lot of pain, couldn’t do anything on my knee really and it was sort of like that light in the tunnel, there was zero light, and I didn’t know how I was going to play at that rate.
“This week has been great for me and next year I just want to be playing tournaments, improving and playing regularly.
“If I come through a decent calendar, my body holds up and I’m improving, you know, that is what I want to be doing.
“When you are playing you want to win, so that competitive side will come out of me like this week but now it is just about getting back on tour and establishing myself again.”
Edmund dropped the first set of his finals week before fighting back to beat George Houghton 5-7 6-3 10-2 in Pool C. He then faced Cox for the first time, again losing the first set but surging back to a 3-6 6-4 10-8 triumph. In the quarter-finals, he beat Giles Hussey 6-2 6-3 before coming back once more to beat Charlie Broom 4-6 6-2 10-0 and reach the final.
“When you’ve had an injury that has put you out for that long, it is definitely mental, you have to regain your confidence physically,” said Edmund.
“Also when you play matches you are playing at live speed and when you see the ball you can’t hesitate, you just have to get there.
“There are going to be areas of my game that are rusty. It’s a true test, from the physical and knee point of view, it was a test of my tennis fitness.
“I ended up playing seven games in five days, I haven’t done that in over two years.”
Estonia’s Elena Malygina ran out winner in the women’s final, edging out home hope Freya Christie. The 22-year-old didn’t drop a set en route to the showpiece and then beat Christie 6-4 3-6 10-7 in a closely-contested final. Malygina said:
“I like to play in the UK and I am hoping to come next year to play as well. It is perfect to play in this event that Britain have made.”