Edmund Stuns Dimitrov to Reach Australian Open Semi-Finals
No Andy Murray, no problem it would appear as far as British tennis is concerned as Kyle Edmund continued his epic run at the Australian Open with victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals.
Murray is currently working on his rehabilitation after undergoing career-saving surgery on his hip. The absence of the former world number one appeared to leave British tennis thin on the ground in the men’s game, but Yorkshire’s Edmund has stepped into the void in brilliant fashion.
Edmund made a hole for himself in the draw with a batting five-set victory over the 11th seed Kevin Anderson in the first round, and he cashed in with wins over Denis Istomin, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Seppi to set up a meeting with Dimitrov.
Dimitrov has long been tipped for greatness in the game and after lifting himself to a career-high ranking of three in the world, he’s been tipped for big things in 2018.
His progress through the tournament had been impressive and he showed nerves of steel and an iron will to get the better of home favourite Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.
The Bulgarian went into his match with Edmund as hot favourite, but the Briton turned the tables in stunning fashion to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 success.
Playing on the big stage of the Rod Laver Arena did not faze Edmund in any way as he put Dimitrov under pressure from the outset. The Bulgarian’s backhand is a potent weapon, but Edmund teased errors out of it and it earned him the opening break of the match.
Dimitrov broke back, but a weakness in the number three seed’s game has been the serve and it let him down. Double faults were offered up, while his weak second serve proved easy pickings for Edmund who broke again to take the opening set.
Dimitrov rallied to level the match, with a set of high-level tennis that suggested the Bulgarian was ready to assume control. Edmund, though, has found real belief in himself and his game in the past 12 months and after being gifted a game thanks to double faults, he steeled himself to take the set.
The fourth set was a tense affair, with both players betrayed by nerves that coughed up breaks of serve. Edmund is not likely to look back on the quality of the tennis in the fourth set with much affection, but he will bank the memories of being able to overcome wobbles and close out big games as that is what he did to book a semi-final spot at the Australian Open.
He’s now two wins away from doing something Murray has not been able to do, and no Brit has been able to do since Fred Perry in 1934.