, TrendsAustralian Open 2018: Kyle Edmund on ‘great opportunity’ to reach final

Australian Open 2018: Kyle Edmund on ‘great opportunity’ to reach final

Kyle Edmund will try to extend his remarkable Australian Open run and reach a first Grand Slam final when he takes on Marin Cilic on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Briton, ranked 49th, plays sixth seed Cilic in the Melbourne night session at 08:30 GMT.

Edmund is only the sixth British man to play in a major singles semi-final since tennis went professional in 1968.

There will be live text and radio commentary available on BBC Sport from 08:00.

“There’s no reason why I can’t go out there and put a good level on the court, enjoy the occasion again,” said Edmund.

“A semis of a Grand Slam, it’s a great feeling. I’ll just try to take it in my stride as best as I can.”

Edmund joins fellow Britons Andy Murray, Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, John Lloyd and Roger Taylor as a Grand Slam semi-finalist.

He received a congratulatory message from Murray after his quarter-final, while Henman was supporting from courtside in Melbourne.

Edmund has been video messaging his family in Yorkshire every day, and relatives in South Africa – where he was born – have been in regular contact.

His parents Steven and Denise, and sister Kelly will not be in Melbourne for the semi-final but could fly out should Edmund reach the final.

“It’s obviously been a lot more attention than I usually get, just loads more texts and messages on social media,” said Edmund.

“The reaction has been amazing.”

After relying on Murray for success at the top level of the game for so many years, British tennis finally has another male player in contention.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for him,” said Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

“We have known him for such a long time since he was 12, 13 years old. He’s a great lad, a very balanced individual.”

Why Edmund is now a ‘daunting opponent’

Kyle Edmund-Marin Cilic graphic
While Kyle Edmund is into uncharted territory, Marin Cilic won the 2014 US Open and reached last year’s Wimbledon final, losing to Roger Federer

Edmund came into the tournament unseeded, without an ATP final appearance to his name, and never has been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

However, there are only four players younger than Edmund above him in the rankings and his powerful game meant he was a growing threat.

The difference in Melbourne has been stringing together five performances over the best-of-five format, starting with a career-best win against 11th seed Kevin Anderson in round one.

Edmund then saw off world number 60 Denis Istomin before a grueling five-set win in the 40C heat against Nikoloz Basilashvili, a comeback win over experienced Italian Andreas Seppi, and a stunning four-set defeat of third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Improvements in the serve allied to what was already one of the biggest forehands in the game have made him a daunting opponent.

Edmund lost his only previous match against Cilic, the Croat winning in straight sets on hard courts in Shanghai last year, but the Briton looks like a different player three months on.

“It will be a great opportunity for me,” said Edmund. “I guess I have that little bit of a taste of being on the court with him.

“The place I’m in now is really good so I think, what I’ve been doing, I’ll just try and carry on with that.”

Tale of the tape at the 2018 Australian Open
  Edmund Cilic
Aces: 78 (5th overall) 96 (3rd overall)
Forehand winners: 127 (1st overall) 115 (2nd overall)
Points won at the net: 53 121 (1st overall)
Average first serve speed: 114mph 117mph
Service games won: 89% (12th overall) 90% (7th overall)
Return games won: 26% (26th overall) 25% (30th overall)
Serve and volleys: 0 10
Time on court: 14hrs 48mins 14hrs 45mins
  • Source, BBC News
By | 2018-01-24T17:46:38+00:00 January 24th, 2018|News, Trends|Comments Off on Australian Open 2018: Kyle Edmund on ‘great opportunity’ to reach final

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