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Edmund dumps Djokovic in Madrid

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RICKY'S PICKS FROM MADRID • DJOKOVIC HITS WORST OVERHEAD OF ALL TIME • RAFAEL NADAL PLAYS

So, it's a really good win for me.

Rafael Nadal continues to go from strength to strength on his beloved red dirt, but Novak Djokovic's inconsistencies show no sign of dissipating following his Madrid Open exit. Well, I say unexpected, it wouldn't be that much of a shock if Edmund were to win today given Djokovic's recent problems, but still you've got to make the 12-time grand slam champion the favourite for this one. But Novak Djokovic took his "Djokosmash" to a whole 'nother level at the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday afternoon.

"I'm happy to start with a victory", said Nadal, whose last loss on the dirt came against Dominic Thiem in Rome previous year.

And it follows his poor performances at the Indian Wells Masters, Miami Open and Barcelona Open.

Edmund wouldn't be drawn on whether his one-sided victory over Goffin had topped his battling win over Djokovic on Wednesday, though he's delighted with the manner in which he's performing. "It's something I have to accept, I have to embrace".

"I think it's definitely a surface that evens out a lot of the playing field".

In a bid to get back on track, Djokovic has reunited with coach Marian Vajda and trainer Gebhard Gritsch after stints working with former players Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek.

Edmund is set to carry British hopes at the French Open, the main draw of which begins on 27 May, due to the continued absence of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray following surgery on his right hip in January. But, in the end, he played a little bit better and was more focused maybe.

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Nadal has not lost a set yet on the red dirt this season.

Djokovic, a former No. 1 and 12-time grand slam victor, also praised Edmund's effort.

Not that the 34-year-old Verdasco, now ranked at 37, needed to worry about another Nadal showdown-unless both men reached the final, that is-for Verdasco was in the bottom quarter.

"I was looking forward to having these kind of matches, looking to trying to win these kind of matches", Djokovic said.

And 16 years after winning his first tour match, Verdasco did indeed score this notable one in Madrid in straight sets, the sixth Spaniard and only the ninth active player to do so. I try to always remind myself and be grateful for that.

"He is a top player, top 10 in the world, so it is very pleasing". I want to do it. And, you know, as long as I keep going, as long as I love the sport, I'll keep going. "I don't have any doubt that he's going to be back up at the highest level", said Nadal, who himself has returned from lengthy injury layoffs to add to lift his career tally to 16 major titles.

'What Novak did on this sport is awesome.

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