Edmund is flying the British singles flag alone and faces a sizeable task in his first taste of the third round at Wimbledon against three-time champion Djokovic. He sprung to the defence of Edmund, though, after the 23-year-old saved a break point in the fourth set when TV replays showed that the ball had bounced twice before he reached it. Djokovic was furious with the umpire but said it was unfair that some on social media had branded Edmund a cheat.
And, for a while, it seemed this feelgood Saturday would get even better as he went shot for shot with a clearly rattled Djokovic, securing the first set in just under 50 minutes with a succession of booming forehands that left his experienced rival flat-footed.
With everything on the line, de Minaur forced Nadal into longer rallies, giving one of the trademark performances that have distinguished him as a promising young player.
Djokovic did not blame Edmund for the incident.
"He's obviously playing well, winning both his matches here pretty comfortably".
Djokovic chirped back and blew kisses at the taunting crowd after the chair umpire assessed him a time violation that inspired cheers and jeers from the stands. A couple [of] guys really, you know, pretending they were coughing and whistling while I was bouncing the ball more or less to the end of the match at that end where I received the time violation. I think overall it's been the case with me on the grass every year, I'm getting slightly better. That's what I didn't like.
His form has not been the same over the last few months but the experience of having played at one of the biggest stages should come in handy on Saturday. "I just reacted the way I thought was fair, the way they reacted to me". It was mentally a good thing for me.
With Edmund serving at 3-3, 15-40 in the fourth set, the Serbian approached the net and executed a drop volley that Edmund failed to reach on one bounce despite flailing at the ball with his racquet and knocking it close to the line on the other side of the net. "He has very good ethics, a hard worker, puts in the hours necessary on the court and in the gym to get himself to best possible shape", said Djokovic, seeded 12 this year despite a ranking of 21.
Djokovic who has faced Andy Murray on numerous occasions, including the Wimbledon final in 2013, said he had never encountered such an atmosphere from a British crowd. But this was the first time he got a reaction like this from the crowd. "But today there was just some people, especially behind that end where I got the time violation, they kept on going, they kept provoking".
"You go from being a little kid dreaming of it, then when it becomes reality, sometimes it can be a bit surreal". I have been playing these Wimbledon courts for a decade.