Andy Murray beaten by Kyle Edmund in second round at Eastbourne
ANDY MURRAY could hardly have expected to go far at Eastbourne but his Wimbledon participation remains in the balance after he lost to British No 1 Kyle Edmund in straight sets.
Murray, who was a late entry into the tournament after being beaten in his first match at Queen's by Nick Kyrgios, was handed what looked like a nightmare draw on the south coast.
However, he beat fellow injury-struggler Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3 to book his place in the next round and set up an all-British clash with Edmund.
But it was always going to be a big ask for Murray, who is still ranked outside the top 150 after nearly a year out with a hip injury, to do anything more than stay with one of his regular hitting partners and Edmund sealed a 6-4, 6-4 win in 102 minutes.
Andy Murray will be glad to have got nearly two hours under his belt on court
It had looked like it might be a much shorter affair when Murray started with a double-fault, quickly slipped to 0-30 and lost his serve in the very first game.
However, he forced four break points in the very next game but could not capitalise as the younger man found big serves at the right time.
Murray will likely have to transform his game into a more aggressive, forward-thinking one and was seen at the net far more often than usual but it was to no avail as Edmund eventually took the first set 6-4 in 46 minutes.
Kyle Edmund was pumped up in the all-British Eastbourne clash
The second set should always have been more Edmund's given his comparative fitness level and after Murray had held to love, he forced break points in each of the next three service games, succeeding in two of them, only for the Scot to break back a give hope of a comeback.
Already a double break down though, it was always going to be a long road back for Murray and Edmund served out the match as the clocked ticked past 100 minutes.
Murray, ever the competitor, will naturally have been disappointed to lose to a friend and a rival.
But he showed enough life to suggest he might just be able to get fit enough in time for Wimbledon next week.
The organizers will surely give him every help they can.