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Kyle Edmund happy to be back at US Open after gruelling spell on sidelines

In the two years since Kyle Edmund last contested a grand slam singles match, he has been through the wringer. Years of pain in his left knee eventually led Edmund to undergo surgery at the end of 2020. Two more operations followed, the most recent a cleanup of the joint in May, and in total he was missing for 22 months during what should have been some of the prime years of his career.

“I’ve never been in that position before,” says Edmund of his time away. “So you learn things about yourself, how you react in certain situations. The feelings I had of being upset and frustrated and down and the worrying, I never felt. I’ve never felt that on court.”

On Monday, the 27-year-old Briton will finally return to grand slam singles competition as he faces the considerable challenge of the No 5 seed, Casper Ruud, in the first round of the US Open, marking the next step on what he hopes will be his return to the top. Edmund carries no delusions about the challenge before him and the patience required so early in his comeback.

“There will be a lot of positives that I can hopefully take away from it because I can learn what my true level is, because he is at the top of the game right now,” he says. “What things I am doing well already, what I can do better. Right now it is so early coming back, so it is important that I don’t give myself a hard time getting wrapped up in it all but seeing it for what it is and the strides that I have made to get back.”

“Overall my knee has held up pretty well,” he says. “I’ve been able to play matches. It’s been up and down, some weeks felt really good, some weeks not so good. I’ve been able to play the matches as well.

There’s not been too much where I’ve had to stop but I’ve just had to manage it in terms of my load. But I think that’s sort of expected after such a long time out. And the reality is it is going to be sort of a managing thing.”

Andy Murray says that the results of the sweat and blood tests he underwent this past week have come back all clear as he continues to investigate his frequent cramping in matches over the summer. Murray believes his physical problems are likely down to hydration, diet or conditioning, which remains a concern entering the final grand slam tournament of the year.

“At least I know now it is more down to either conditioning or hydration or food-related,” he said. “That is something I can control a little bit as well. But I feel like I am in decent shape so that is why it is concerning. I don’t really know why it has happened. Last few days in practice I have actually felt a bit better in the conditions and everything, so hopefully I will be all right on Monday.”

Edmund’s first step was a surprise appearance in the Wimbledon mixed doubles in July, losing in the first round alongside Olivia Nicholls. He has since played a mixture of ATP Tour, Challenger and ITF events, making modest progress. Despite his surgical interventions, Edmund has come to terms with the reality that his knee will never be as it once was and that he will have to manage it for the rest of his career.
Edmund’s first step was a surprise appearance in the Wimbledon mixed doubles in July, losing in the first round alongside Olivia Nicholls. He has since played a mixture of ATP Tour, Challenger and ITF events, making modest progress. Despite his surgical interventions, Edmund has come to terms with the reality that his knee will never be as it once was and that he will have to manage it for the rest of his career.