KYLE Edmund is a Liverpool fan who enjoyed a one-to-one pep talk with Jurgen Klopp on the eve of this tournament. But the German's Midas touch clearly didn’t rub off. Because yesterday Edmund simply learned what it must have felt like to be on the wrong end of that miracle in Istanbul or the Anfield side’s back-from-the-dead Champions League semi-final win against Barcelona.

For the first 90 minutes of this match, the 23-year-old Englishman was revelling in Andy Murray’s absence from the singles competition to stand on the brink of one of his biggest-ever wins. Fernando Verdasco, a 35-year-old Real Madrid fan, was distinctly second best – outpowered and generally out-smarted by his opponent. It was he who was shouting in anguish towards his box, he who appeared worried by his physical conditioning.

But like the reverse of the former World No.7’s 2013 quarter final against Andy Murray, where it was he who surrendered a two-set-to-love lead, this was to prove a match of two halves. First Edmund threw in a poor service game, letting his opponent back into that third set at 3-2, then ill fortune intervened as he attempted to chase a ball down behind the baseline on his backhand side.

Going into the match attempting to protect a recently injured left knee, this time it was his right leg which buckled, the 23-year-old grimacing with discomfort at what appeared to be a strained muscle in his groin. Lengthy treatment from the physio and the doctor followed, massage to the affected area and his lower back allowing him to carry on.

But the physical upper hand he had enjoyed up until this point was undeniably diminished. Like the wily old matador he is, Verdasco scented blood and went in for the kill. From the point he surrendered that third set in a tie-break, defeat only seemed a matter of time for the No.30 seed. By the end, watching him hirpling vainly after the ball was all sadly reminiscent of how a hip-ravaged Andy Murray stoically refused to give into the inevitable against Sam Querrey two years ago.

As the Centre Court crowd rose to acclaim the efforts of the loser of this 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 3-6, 4-6 encounter over the best part of four hours, Edmund deserved a more charitable hearing than that afforded him by commentator John McEnroe. “Ultimately he blew it,” said McEnroe.

It may not have helped the mood of the British No.1 but typically there was a refreshing reluctance to use his injury as an excuse – even though few surely could have blamed him if he had. “Right now there will be a lot of people with a lot of opinions, naturally,” said Edmund. “That’s his opinion. There will be for sure a lot of people saying that.”

Instead, he simply insisted he had to continue improving his physical conditioning. “I mean everyone’s dealing with something,” said Edmund. “You’ve just got to get on with it and get better. I don’t really look at it as lucky or not. If I’m being honest, I’m not hard done by in life. There’s a lot more people in tougher situations than me, that is for sure. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, isn’t it? Things don’t improve by feeling sorry for yourself. You have to take action.”

This was Verdasco in a nutshell, making 32 unforced errors in the first three sets, but limiting it to just five down the stretch in the final set. "It was a long and a hard match for many reasons," he said. "But I feel great obviously. I beat a great player, playing in his country, having most of the people supporting him."

He lives on to be a threat in the top half of the draw, even if that section seems to working itself out rather nicely, thank you very much, for Novak Djokovic. The Serb cantered through to the third round with a straightforward 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Denis Kudla of the USA, even if he dropped his serve on a couple of occasions.

“I am just trying to give my best and strategically approach every match in the right way,” said the downbeat Serb, who now faces one of his practice partners in Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the third round.

Elsewhere yesterday, Canadian wonderkid Felix Auger-Aliassime marched on with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over French youngster Corentin Moutet, while dangerous Russian Daniil Medvedev played his way into a third-round tie against David Goffin.

Kevin Anderson, the No.4 seed, saw off Janko Tipsarevic, Queen’s champion Feliciano Lopez lost in four to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

But one of the best matches of the day was unfolding out on Court No.2, when a giant American called Reilly Opelka was ending Stan Wawrinka’s hopes of claiming the only major title which continues to elude him for another year in the course of five thrilling sets which ended 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6. Considering the power and accuracy he possesses on both forehand and backhand, it seems remarkable that the Swiss has never even reached the last four here.

“I never said I was ready to win Wimbledon,” Wawrinka said. “I said that was my goal. I come here every year with the challenge to play the best I can. I play two times in the quarter final. If not, I’ve lost first round, second round. I’m really happy with everything I’ve achieved all my career by winning three Grand Slams in the same era as the big four.”

Opelka is a 21-year-old who stands 6ft 11in tall and claimed the 2015 boys’ title here. He served 23 aces and got more than 70 per cent of his first serves in play. Known for playing basketball on the tour in his spare time, this was a slam dunk, even if he still regrets he didn’t pursue a career in the NBA instead. “I wish I was,” he said. “I regret it every day. That’s pretty much all I am going to say.”