Tennis

Unseeded Edmund 'loving it' after ousting third-ranked Dimitrov

Kyle Edmund became only the fourth British man to reach the Australian Open semi-finals in the post-1968 Open Era with an impressive win over world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open yesterday.

The unseeded Edmund, ranked 49th, won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2hr 49min on Rod Laver Arena and will face Marin Cilic for a place in the final.

By winning, Edmund also became only the sixth British man to make the last four at a Grand Slam. It marked his first victory against a top-five ranked player.

With another British Grand Slam semi-finalist Tim Henman watching on in the stands, Edmund kept Dimitrov under pressure with his powerful forehand and serve, reported AFP.

"I am loving it right now, just the way I'm playing. I'm 23 years old, my first Grand Slam semi-final. First time I played on one of the biggest courts in the world," Edmund said.

"To beat a quality player like Grigor, there are great feelings. You don't play in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam every day, or a quarter like today.

"So I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. There's no reason why my tennis wasn't good enough to win. It's about going out there and doing it."

Edmund is the only British man in this year's field after five-time finalist Andy Murray's injury withdrawal before the tournament.

"I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray for the last eight years or however long," Edmund said of the expected media attention after his win.

"Yeah, of course, it comes with the territory of playing the sport. The better you do, the more attention you get. Of course, you just take it in your stride, trying to embrace it as much as possible."

The only other British men to get this far at a Slam were Henman, Murray, John Lloyd, Roger Taylor and Greg Rusedski. Murray, Lloyd and Taylor did it in Australia.

Edmund's performance led three-time Australian Open champion Mats Wilander to believe that the player has the most destructive forehand in tennis and that it can power him into the world's top 10.

Edmund rifled away 18 clean forehand winners, taking his tournament total on the stroke to 127, but even when Dimitrov did retrieve it there was usually more punishment to come.

"It's an unbelievable weapon," Wilander told Reuters.

"It's as good as anyone's. Actually I would say it's the best forehand in the game. You can most probably push him to make mistakes but, in terms of when he has time, for sure it's the best forehand in the world."

Tennis