|2018 Australian Open|
|Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park|
|Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.|
Kyle Edmund reached the third round of the Australian Open for the first time with a comprehensive win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
The 23-year-old British number two played superbly to win 6-2 6-2 6-4 on a hot afternoon at Melbourne Park.
Istomin, ranked 11 places lower at 60th, had treatment on his left foot at the end of the first set and failed to earn a single break point in the match.
Edmund goes on to face world number 61 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia next.
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“I knew going into this match, physically I was good, the way I’m hitting the ball,” he said.
“If he was going to beat me today, I knew I was going to put up a good fight. Today was a good, professional performance. I did what I needed to do.”
‘It felt like it was tough for him’
Edmund, like many of the players, insisted after the match that he does not look at the draw, but he is now the highest-ranked player in his section before the quarter-finals.
His first-round win over 11th seed Kevin Anderson, and early losses for eighth seed Jack Sock and 18th seed Lucas Pouille, have opened up a path to the last eight that is free of leading names.
There are still some experienced campaigners who would need to be beaten but the Briton is confident after two impressive showings.
“I served well,” said Edmund. “I just made a lot of serves at the right times. Good placement really.
“It felt like it was tough for him to get on top of rallies from the return. I always felt it was either neutral or I was on top most of the time.
“That’s part of it, managing your serve well when you’re in a commanding position, you don’t need to take too much risk.”
One-sided win takes 89 minutes
Istomin, 31, caused a huge upset 12 months ago when he knocked out six-time champion Novak Djokovic, but he was well below that form against Edmund.
On a packed court 13 in the outer reaches of Melbourne Park, Edmund coped impressively with the testing conditions as the temperature nudged 30C.
He lost just three points behind his first serve in the match, breaking serve twice in the first and second sets and once more in the third to win in 89 minutes.
Istomin required a medical timeout for attention to his foot after the first set but was already struggling to keep pace with Edmund.
With his serve working so well, the Briton was able to line up winners at will, driving Istomin back and into the corners.
Urged on by new Swedish coach Fredrik Rosengren and Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, Edmund gave the watching British contingent a welcome victory to celebrate on the same court Heather Watson had been beaten on the night before.
Edmund ready for 40C on Friday
Looking ahead to Friday’s match, and a forecast of 41C in Melbourne, Edmund admitted he will have to be vigilant with his sunblock.
“I got a bit burned on Monday,” said the Yorkshireman. “I didn’t put enough on then. It’s my neck that gets it worst.
“You’re in the sun quite a bit. I know I have to because of my pale skin. I have to take responsibility.
“My mum gives me a lecture if I don’t.”
BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller
Edmund is a player who does not like to look ahead in the draw, but has not been able to escape the fact that seeds have been tumbling in his section.
The world number 76 Andreas Seppi and number 89 Ivo Karlovic, who turns 39 next month, are the other players in the hunt for a quarter-final spot.
He is right to block out all the surround sound, as these matches remain hugely competitive and he may have to deal with 41C heat on Friday.
But Edmund is playing with real freedom and serving like a dream: he lost only three points on first serve in the entire hour and a half he spent on court.
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