World number 19 and defending champion David Ferrer moved into the second round of the Erste Bank Open as Kyle Edmund retired at 3-2 and a break down in their first round encounter. The Spaniard would have been looking to exact revenge after losing to Edmund last week at the European Open, but Ferrer will now face either Pablo Cuevas or Joao Sousa in the second round.
Five games before retirement
Edmund struggled in the opening game as Ferrer earned himself two break points straight away. The Spaniard opened up the court with cross court exchanges and took advantage of the space down the line to take the first of the pair of break points and take the lead. Ferrer consolidated the break with a quick love hold to extend his early lead. Edmund survived some more pressure at 15-30 to get his first game on the board at 2-1.
Ferrer raced to 30-0 on serve in the next game but a loose error and a double fault tied them up at 30-30 to give Edmund an opening. The opportunity was wasted, however, as the Brit sent a forehand into the net to give Ferrer game point and the Spaniard held to keep his lead intact. Edmund had his first easy hold of the set.
Hip injury for Edmund
Unfortunately, there was a shock at the next changeover, and Kyle Edmund apologized to the umpire and his opponent as it was revealed that he had to retire with a hip injury, so Ferrer will move into the next round. There weren't any obvious signs of injury in the five games that were played other than Edmund not really finding his range. The Brit has played 13 matches in the last three weeks in Beijing, Shanghai, and Antwerp and his efforts will likely be the cause of this disappointing exit.
Edmund reached his first ATP World Tour semifinal last week at the European Open where he took out David Ferrer in a tight three-set battle as well as taking out both Andreas Seppi and Illya Marchenko in straight sets to reach the semifinals. He then lost out after being a set and a break up against Richard Gasquet.
The Brit also reached the second round the previous week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters after coming through qualifying. He came through the first round of qualifying easily and then won two close three-set matches to set up a meeting with US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, where he lost out in straight sets.
He made another good run as a qualifier at the China Open where he defeated Pablo Andujar, Evgeny Donskoy and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straight sets before ousting world number fourteen Roberto Bautista Agut in another tight battle. He then lost in the quarterfinals to Davis Cup teammate and eventual champion Andy Murray in straight sets. A career-high ranking and such a good end of season run will likely ease the disappointment of having to retire from Vienna.