Johnson vs. Edmund
|Date & Time||Thursday August 24, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Kyle Edmund and Steve Johnson meet Thursday in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Winston-Salem Open.
Kyle Edmund is coming off a straight sets win over Marton Fucsovics that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Edmund won 78 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Edmund has been hit or miss all season long, but he’s finally enjoying some consistent play and is coming off a match in which he won 52 percent of his return points. Take this run and his semifinal appearance in Atlanta, and Edmund is easily playing his best tennis of the season right now. It’s now a question of if Edmund can keep it up, as we know the 22-year-old has the talent to consistently be in the running for deep tournament runs. Edmund has split his last eight quarterfinal matches. Edmund has won five straight matches on hard court.
Steve Johnson is coming off a straight sets win over Carlos Berlocq that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Johnson won 83 percent of his first serve points and 79 percent of his second serve points. Johnson entered this tournament in very shaky form, but he has to have gained some confidence by winning his last two matches in straight sets. We know what Johnson is capable of when hitting his spots and serving with confidence, but his serve and return have been broken in his last few matches and the losses have piled up. This could be the tournament that turns Johnson’s season around. Johnson has lost five of his last six quarterfinal appearances. Johnson has lost five of his last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2015 Australian Open, a match Johnson won in straight sets. The match took 29 games to decide.
This match will tell us a lot about Johnson, as he hasn’t beaten a high quality player in a while, and Edmund is a big test. However, Johnson usually plays well when in the United States and thrives off the crowds energy. Johnson also served out of his mind in his last match, which is a good sign. While Edmund is probably in better form and may be the safer bet, this is a match Johnson could win, especially when you see how their match went a couple of years ago.
I’ll take Johnson to make the semifinals.