Kyle Edmund did his best impression of Jim Courier on Wednesday night, bludgeoning his way to another victory at the Italian Open, where he joined Jo Konta in the last 16 of this major staging post to Roland Garros.
Standing tall and belting his forehand with that whiplash action, the blonde Yorkshireman took down French No 1 Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6 to continue his form from Madrid last week.
On Thursday he will face world No 3 and defending champion Alexander Zverev, and if he was somehow to overcome the German his creeping reputation as a kind of modern day Brit version of Courier would only gather more credibility.
Kyle Edmund did his best impression of Jim Courier at the Italian Open on Wednesday night
The British No 1 took down his French counterpart Lucas Pouille to reach the last 16 in Rome
‘I came very quickly out of the blocks tonight’ said Edmund.
‘Zverev has got a great serve, great backhand and he’s very confident right now after a lot of straight set wins so I go out there without much to lose.’
Edmund was by far the better player in the first set and was equal to a much stiffer challenge in the second, holding off a break point at 3-4 and taking complete control of the tiebreak by racing to a 4-0 lead.
Taking it 7-3 secured his third victory over a top 20 player within ten days, Pouille being the world No 16.
Konta enjoys the Eternal City so much that she has twice holidayed here in recent years, and once more it is proving to her liking.
On Thursday he will face the world No 3 and defending champion Alexander Zverev
For the third straight time she is through to the last 16 of this event, and her relationship with Rome will blossom further if she goes one step further.
The British No 1 will take on French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the quarter finals, having made short work of the unorthodox Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei in beating her 6-0 6-4.
Ostapenko, still only 20, caused a sensation last year when she stormed to the Roland Garros title, and she has backed that up better than some recent women’s Grand Slam champions, maintaining her ranking at No 6.
She uses a sledgehammer to crack the ball compared to the chopsticks employed by Hsieh, who employs delicate dinks and slices in trying to cleverly disrupt her opponents.
World No 16 Pouille was beaten in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 by Edmund on Wednesday night
Konta, who visits Rome in the holiday off season of November, will get a good guage of where she is at today, but her form looks to be picking up.
‘Jelena is a big ball striker so playing her I know that am definitely going to have to work hard at staying strong in some of the points,’ said Konta.
‘I will try to keep doing what I like to do and that’s to dictate. I definitely enjoy Rome. I’ve come here to holiday a couple of years in a row.
‘I love the food and I really enjoy the people, this is a great time of the season.’
British No 1 Jo Konta needed little over an hour to beat Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh in Rome