Ex-Slam semifinalist Kyle Edmund's revelation after lengthy struggle with knee issue

Edmund was 23 when he reached his first Slam semifinal and broke into the top-15 but then a knee injury derailed his further progress.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Ex-Slam semifinalist Kyle Edmund's revelation after lengthy struggle with knee issue
© Getty Images Sport - Tom Dulat

Kyle Edmund suggests he has had enough of playing it safe after his knee surgery as the British tennis player wants to play more despite accepting that pain will probably always be there. 

Edmund, who turned 29 in January, was once one of the most promising British tennis players as he managed to reach his first ATP title in Antwerp - make his first Grand Slam semifinal at the 2018 Australian Open - and also achieve a career-high ranking of No. 14 that year. 

But shortly after a breakthrough 2018 season, Edmund started experiencing major knee issues and it prevented him from continuing his rise. And after suffering what was at the time his fifth consecutive loss in 2020 October, Edmund decided to take a break and surgically address his chronic left knee injury.

As a result, Edmund missed the remainder of 2020 but also the entire 2021 season - and the first half of 2022 - before returning to action by playing mixed doubles at 2022 Wimbledon. But since returning, it has been far from ideal for Edmund, who has had some extended breaks over the last two years and hasn't managed to even come close to returning to his past form.

But Edmund - currently ranked at No. 496 in the world - has been able to play consistently since the start of 2024 and he wants to keep it that way. 

Kyle Edmund
Kyle Edmund © Getty Images Sport - Tom Dulat
 

Edmund reveals his current mindset

This week, Edmund kicked off his grass season at the Surbiton Challenger, where he won two qualifying matches before Joao Fonseca handed him a 6-2 6-1 loss in the first round. Now, Edmund is preparing to play in the Nottingham Challenger qualifying over the weekend.

“When you’re working on things on things on the court, it feels like a positive that you’re focusing on tennis things to get better rather than dealing with off-court issues with your body," Edmund said, via Yahoo! Sport.

“On the grass, it highlights it a bit more because the matches are very stop and start, you don’t need to do too much wrong and then you get punished.

“I’d definitely like to play at a level that I feel I have in me, I’d like to do that consistently so the pressure builds, I know how to deal with it.

“I might make a soft error and I feel like the better players are always putting the pressure on so that’s something I’d like to get better at. It’s always a constant process, it’s impossible in tennis to turn up every day and leave a winner, pretty much every week you’re going home and this is just one of those days unfortunately.

“You have to listen to your body but I’ve also listened to it so much that I just want to play.”

Kyle Edmund
Kyle Edmund © Getty Images Sport - Tom Dulat
 

Edmund accepts he will probably always feel pain

Four years have passed since Edmund had his knee surgery, and after trying to play it safe in the last few years, the 29-year-old Briton has accepted that his chronic knee issue will never fully go away and there will always be pain when he steps on the court. 

However, Edmund is eager to continue and battle as he is inspired by Andy Murray, whose hip injury is well-documented and his post-surgery efforts. 

“I tried to build on the momentum that I’ve had for the last two matches but it also shows where I need to keep getting better and keep learning. There are not many days I’ve been on court and been pain-free, that’s something I’ve accepted through long-term injury, it’s rare you will be pain-free again. You look at Andy Murray, I doubt he’s playing pain-free, it’s like that where you have such long-term things that you just accept it," Edmund explained.

“Naturally, I’m more of an introverted person, tennis is such an individual sport that you naturally problem solve on your own, in general that’s the way I’ve dealt with things. Being in that situation, it’s made me speak to people because you get so inspired by others. My old coach Colin traveled with me to Switzerland to see a specialist and I went to America to rehab and not play tennis and he was still there.”

Kyle Edmund
Kyle Edmund© Getty Images Sport - Matt McNulty
 

While Edmund wasn't really considered someone who had the potential to regularly contend for Grand Slams or the world No. 1 ranking, the general belief was that he was talented enough to be probably consistently ranked around the top-20 in the world.

It remains to be seen if Edmund will be able to stay injury-free and rediscover any of his past form.

Kyle Edmund
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