MELBOURNE: They say you can take the man out of Yorkshire but cannot take Yorkshire out of the man and while Kyle Edmund now lives in the Bahamas his no-nonsense style of tennis would have the locals back home nodding in approval.
The 23-year-old, who grew up just north of the Humber Estuary in Beverley, is two Australian Open wins away from completing an unlikely metamorphosis from the “other British player” to grand slam champion.
Even if that did happen, and it’s a big ‘if’ considering he would have to beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic then most probably 19-times grand slam great Roger Federer, his coach Fredrik Rosengren says his charge will not get cocky.
“I’m not expecting him to be running to buy the Ferrari. He is not that kind of guy,” the Swede, who has helped transform Edmund’s fortunes since being hired in October, told reporters.
Edmund is no flash Harry, on or off the court — a trait he shares with three-times grand slam champion Andy Murray, who has carried the flag for British tennis for more than a decade.
A cricket lover, Edmund admitted after his quarter-finals victory over world number three Grigor Dimitrov that one of his idols, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, did not recognise him when they were in the same restaurant this week.
While bashful off court, however, there is nothing timid about his no-frills playing style.Essentially, it involves cranking up a forehand forged in a blast furnace and burning the felt off the ball.
Three-times Australian Open champion Mats Wilander describes it as the best forehand in the business.That said, he is no one-trick pony.His serve is vastly improved under Rosengren, as is his defence, even if Edmund prefers to be wheeling away in the centre court.