KYLE EDMUND wrote his title into British tennis historical past with the best win of his life.
In his first Grand Slam quarter closing, Edmund beat a prime 10 participant for the primary time in his profession overcoming world No Three and O2 champion Grigor Dimitrov 6-Four Three-6 6-Three 6-Four.
Edmund was merely very good, turning into solely the sixth British man to achieve a Grand Slam semi closing within the Open Period.
One of many 5, Tim Henman, additionally the final Brit male not known as Andy Murray to achieve the final eight right here, was sitting within the Rod Laver Enviornment to see historical past made.
After a shot by Dimitrov was confirmed to be out by Hawk-Eye, the British No 2 sat on his chair shaking his head in disbelief at what he had performed.
Edmund mentioned: “It is a tremendous feeling.
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“As a kid you just look at the idols you aspire to be when you’re on this type of stage.
“It’s obviously very pleasing, but of course I’m going to keep going.”
Dimitrov was very gracious in defeat. The Bulgarian said: “Kyle deserves all the credit. He deserved the win, simple as that.
“He’s been working so hard in the past few months.
“There’s no point for me to say what I did wrong. It’s all about him right now.
“Once you reach this stage of a Grand Slam, anything can happen. Opportunities like this don’t come often.”
Just two weeks before, Dimitrov had sportingly leapt over the net to help Edmund after he had fallen during their clash in Brisbane.
Now the world No 3 has to pick himself up the floor, having failed to match his run to the semi finals in Melbourne last year.
Edmund’s coach Fredrik Rosengren had said he would tell him that feeling extra nerves before such a big match was normal.
But the Brit hid any early jitters superbly with a confident start, breaking the Dimitrov serve in the first game and holding to love in the second.
Kyle Edmund Factfile
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Moved to North Yorkshire aged 3
Current world ranking: 49
Coach: Fredrik Rosengren
Began playing aged 10
Favourite surface: Clay
Favourite tournament: Wimbledon
Hobbies: Liverpool FC, Formula One, golf
Dimitrov hit back in the sixth, thanks to an Edmund double fault and two missed forehands. But it was the Bulgarian who faltered next and the Brit had the chance to serve for the first set.
Edmund showed great composure to do just that, saving three break points before taking his second opportunity to wrap it up.
Momentum, though, is a fickle mistress – hard to earn but easy to lose. Edmund let it slip with two more wide forehands on the way to dropping his serve in the second game of the second set.
He had the chance to hit back straightaway but Dimitrov won five points in a row from 0/40 to take a 3-0 lead.
The world No 3 then tried to turn the screw, but Edmund saved a break point to gain a foothold.
The Brit then had another look at break back point after the last of three double faults in the seventh game, only for Dimitrov to dig out a big first serve when he needed it.
The Bulgarian kept his cool to level the match and seemed to be the more comfortable player.
Not for long. In a tense third set, Edmund missed one chance to break the Dimitrov serve but another double fault gifted him the lead and the chance to serve for it.
Calmly, confidently, classily, he did so and suddenly he was one set away from the biggest win of his career.
The question was whether the enormity of the achievement which was now within reach would weigh heavily on the young Brit.
The answer turned out to be no. If anything the dread of impending defeat was affecting Dimitrov.
He netted one forehand to give up a break point and miscued another to give Edmund a 3-2 lead with a break. Three games from glory.
SEMI-N SPECIAL: Brits who have made Grand Slam final four
KYLE EDMUND has joined an exclusive club of British men who have reached the semi finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era – the period since tennis went fully professional in 1968.
3 semi-final appearances (Wimbledon 1970, 1973; Australian Open 1970) – A Yorkshireman like Edmund, the Sheffield player also reached the last four at Wimbledon in 1967. Never made a singles final, reaching a career high of world No 8, but won men’s doubles titles at the US Open in 1971 and 1972 with Australia’s John Newcombe and South Africa’s Cliff Drysdale.
1 semi final appearance (Australia Open 1970) – Lloyd’s achievements have been unfairly overshadowed by the fact he was married for eight years to 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Chris Evert. Reached world No 21 in singles, but won mixed doubles titles with Wendy Turnbull at the 1982 French Open and at Wimbledon in 1983 and 1984.
1 semi-final appearance (US Open 1997) – Rusedski beat Jonas Bjorkman to become Britain’s first male Grand Slam singles finalist since Bunny Austin in 1938 and its last until you know who. Rusedski lost to Australia’s Pat Rafter but that was enough to earn him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. Went as high as world No 4.
6 semi final appearances (Wimbledon 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002; French Open 2004; US Open 2004) – Unfairly branded a loser because of his Wimbledon heartaches – he was beaten on each occasion by the eventual winner – Henman was actually Britain’s best post-WWII male player until a certain someone arrived. Also reached world No 4 and had a hill at the All England Club named after him.
SIR ANDY MURRAY
21 semi-final appearances (6 Australian Open, 5 French Open, 7 Wimbledon, 3 US Open) – The boy from Dunblane has redefined what is possible for a British male tennis player. Murray has been in 11 Slam finals, winning three, as well as winning two Olympic titles, leading Britain to its first Davis Cup triumph for nearly 80 years and becoming the nation’s first ever world No 1.
But that was a long way, especially at this level of competition and against this calibre of opponent. Dimitrov stepped on the gas and Edmund was broken back to 15.
The Bulgarian, roared on by a small but vocal group of his compatriots, saved a break point with a big serve in the following game.
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At 4-4, 15/30, came a moment of high drama. Edmund challenged a Dimitrov backhand winner and the Hawk-Eye picture appeared on the screen without a verdict.
After what seemed like an age, the word “out” followed. Dimitrov netted on the second of the break points to give Edmund the opportunity to serve for the match.
Edmund fell 0/15 and 15/30 behind. But an ace took him to 40/30 and after a rally, a Dimitrov backhand looked to have gone long.
One more nervous wait, then Hawk-Eye confirmed Edmund’s seismic achievement.
Only Murray, Henman, Greg Rusedski, Roger Taylor and John Lloyd have previously flown the British flag in a Grand Slam semi final in the Open Era.
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SHOW me someone outside Kyle Edmund’s camp (and probably inside it) who claims they predicted this, and I’ll show you a liar.
Edmund, the tennis experts said, had the potential one day to be at least a top 20 player and someone who could go deep in Grand Slams.
But here, and now? It’s a lovely surprise.
Something he has worked hard for a decade to achieve, but a surprise nonetheless.
Most Brits who turned up in Australia would have thought Jo Konta the more likely player to go deep in Melbourne after her runs to the semis and quarters in the previous two years.
Especially after Edmund was handed what looked like a pig of a first-round draw against big-serving world No 11 Kevin Anderson.
But with no Andy Murray around to take most of the attention, the 23 year old has come of age in spectacular style.
Edmund quickly tires of questions about the pressure of being in the spotlight in Murray’s absence and about filling the void once Britain’s greatest tennis player retires – despite claiming after this historic victory: “It’s a nice problem to have.”
But the naturally reserved young man prefers to do his talking on the court and what he is doing in Melbourne suggests that he is embracing the challenge.
And everyone – excluding the quietly confident Edmund – may have to revise their expectations. Sometimes it’s great to be wrong.
With Andy Murray injured and no other British men in the main draw, all the focus has been on him.
Edmund said: “I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray in the last eight days.
“It’s the first time I’ve done well on my own.
“I just take it [the extra attention] in my stride.
“It’s a good problem to have.”