LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Frenchman Gael Monfils halted the British charge at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over home hope Kyle Edmund to reach the third round on Thursday.
On a stifling Centre Court the 15th seed was pushed hard in the first set before 50th-ranked Edmund wilted in the heat and Monfils moved through 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4.
Monfils will face Yuichi Sugita of Japan or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the third round.
Edmund’s forehand, rated as one of the hardest in men’s tennis, was a constant menace to Monfils in the first set and the British player had two break points in a titanic ninth game but could not convert either.
It proved a pivotal moment because Monfils went on to pocket the tiebreak with ease as Edmund buckled under the strain.
Edmund did manage to break back having fallen behind in the second set but Monfils always had the extra shot up his sleeve to wear down the 22-year-old.
Britain has four players in the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in 20 years with men’s champion Andy Murray joined by Johanna Konta, Aljaz Bedene and Heather Watson. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Lovell)