Kyle Edmund (left) fell in five sets to Kevin Anderson
Aiming to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for only the second time, the 22-year-old gave his all, but after 3 hrs 59 mins finally succumbed 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
If Edmund had any doubts what he was getting himself into, he found out instantly when Kevin Anderson kicked off proceedings with a 132mph ace.
The 22-year-old needed 100 per cent focus and initially he struggled to achieve that, his service toss too easily distracted by clicking cameramen.
He showed great resolve, though, to save two break points in his first service game, and also another in his second.
The only pause in the inevitable path to a tie-break came after the ninth game when Anderson called the trainer to court to add further strapping to his already-bandaged left thigh
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Garbine Muguruza playing at the French Open
The South African’s injury did not seem to bother him though, as the tie-break went into sudden death. But it was Edmund who took the initiative, firing a huge backhand pass shot down the line then watching as Anderson tamely netted for an 8-6 defeat.
For all the growing talk of Edmund’s forehand, it was his backhand that was proving the more effective weapon – though still not effective enough to get even as far as deuce on the Anderson serve.
This time in the inevitable tie-break it was Anderson who stole an early march that Edmund could never recover and the hangover continued into the next set.
Immediately, he had three break points to defend and fair play to the Beverley-based player, he did so. And again, when another break point came along in the fifth game.
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Kevin Anderson is through to the fourth round
Then just when it looked like a third tie-break was on its way, Edmund got a first break point of his own. Anderson defended it, but having scented blood, Edmund promptly completed his break two points later.
He tucked the third set duly under his belt but Anderson is a resilient opponent and responded by breaking immediately at the start of the fourth, and once again later on in a rather damp squib of a set.
However, that set up a firecracker of a fifth where Edmund showed some of his most impressive fighting spirit, coming from three break points down to coolly keep things on serve.
He was sailing close to the wind, however, and Anderson finally wore him down in the next service game. Inevitably, one final unreturnable serve was enough to seal his fate.