About this time last year, Kyle Edmund was lying in pain on the courts of Melbourne Park, suffering from cramp in the extreme heat as he made an early first-round exit.
Since then, there has been quite a physical transformation in the 22-year-old. The mercury may have topped 35C (95F) on the thermometer yesterday, but Edmund was unperturbed, defeating the world No 91, Santiago Giraldo, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round here for the first time.
Edmund has taken inspiration from Andy Murray’s dedication to improving his fitness after the Scot quickly realised at a young age that his body was not equipped for the demands of professional tennis.
It may be hard for some to imagine now, but the world No 1 was once a skinny teenager who struggled to make it through a five-set match.
Part of Edmund’s fitness regime during the off-season was to take part in punishing track sessions, which involved two sets of eighteen 80m sprints, with rests of 15 seconds after each sprint and a three-minute break in between the sets.
“For me, the younger you are, I feel it’s really important to build up a real base,” Edmund said. “I think the bigger base you can get is going to help you towards the end of your career and the longer your career goes on.
“I personally don’t think the guys in their late 20s, early 30s, they’re not building stamina or strength, it’s maintaining what they built from a young age. The reason the top guys can go on so long is because they built a real base. That’s what I’m trying to do at the minute.”
In the way of Edmund and a likely round-of-32 meeting with Novak Djokovic is Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta, the world No 31.
“Carreño Busta is very good on all surfaces really, he has got a good ranking,” Edmund said. “I felt good today so that’s encouraging.”