The 20-year-old Briton produced a sensational barrage of power-hitting to beat his compatriot Andy Murray 10-7 in a high-quality final.
‘It was an honour for me to be here, I really enjoyed it’, said Edmund, afterwards. ‘The fact that I was successful made it even better. I’m very pleased. It’s important to use the money smartly. The best thing is to invest it in my career. If I invest in support and trainers, it’s going to help me on court.’
The six-man field comprising Edmund, Murray, McEnroe, David Ferrer, Tim Henman and qualifier Xavier Malisse (who earlier beat Younes El Aynaoui to earn his place), had been split into two-round robin groups and competed in a series of fast-paced, first-to-ten point tie-breaks.
In Group 1, McEnroe, 56, thrilled an excited crowd inside the Royal Albert Hall by rolling back the years and volleying exquisitely. He stayed neck and neck with Henman before eventually being edged out, and then led Malisse 7-1 with some of his best tennis in years. Suddenly, the McEnroe juggernaut came juddering to a stop as he lost nine points in a row.
They were joined in the final four by Murray and Edmund. The British pair both overcame World No.7 Ferrer to progress from Group 2.
The semi-finals turned out to be one-sided affairs; Murray clinically beat Henman 10-1 before Edmund saw off the spirited challenge of Malisse.
In the final, Edmund defied the odds and managed to avenge his Group stage loss to Murray. Edmund used his sledgehammer forehand to devastating effect and not even Murray’s renowned defensive skills could prevent Edmund from dominating the baseline exchanges and coming through 10-7.
What Did The Players Think Of Tie Break Tens?
McEnroe: ‘I liked it, I felt good. I played well but sort of choked a little bit at the end. Tim actually played some good ball to win a couple of big points. I got cocky I think when I was up 7-1 against Xavier, I thought it was over and started thinking about the semis – that’s a mistake that no athlete should make.’
What is the future for Tie Break Tens?
During the week of Champions Tennis, Henman, debutant James Blake, defending champion Fernando Gonzalez, Xavier Malisse, Younes El Aynoui and Sebastien Grosjean have contested an ATP Champions Tour event. John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Henri Leconte are playing legends singles matches against each other, and also joining the field to play amongst the doubles action are Mansour Bahrami, Pat Cash and Jamie Murray.