Kyle Edmund produced another excellent performance to reach the quarterfinals of a grand slam for the first time in his career and in the process earned himself a handful of world ranking points to lift him into the mid-thirties from his current position of 49.
Apart from the injured Andy Murray, Edmund becomes the first British male to reach the last eight in Australia since John Lloyd back in 1985 and he did it in some style, coming back from a set and a break down to work his way to victory over the Italian Andreas Seppi, who was also aiming for his first major quarter final appearance at his 52nd attempt!
I’ve won two five-setters, hit a lot of balls. We were both feeling good, but, through to my first quarter-final, I’m very happy Kyle Edmund
Apart from his second round straight sets victory over Denis Istomin, the British No2 has been stretched into two five setters and again battled through in round four to complete a 6-7(4) 7-5 6-2 6-3 victory and there was no denying his elation at having made the second week of a grand slam.
“It’s a good feeling,” the 23-year-old Edmund said. “I didn’t feel I got off to the best start. In the second set I tried to shift the momentum. I think when I broke in the last game of the second set, I took control of the match. Through to my first quarterfinal, I’m very happy.”
His big serve saved him on many occasions and this time he slammed down 25 aces as he pounded, with the assistance of his big forehand, his way past the 33-year-old, former top 20 player.
With both players holding serve at the start of the opening set, it was Edmund who was the first to come under pressure when, in the eighth game, he saved five break points, three of them with heavy, unreturnable serves. In the ensuing tie-break it was Seppi again who applied the early pressure and this time, at 5-4, the Italian hit two successive backhand winners to go one set up.
He maintained that momentum by claiming a break in the third game of the second bringing an excellent response from Edmund, who now has self-belief. The Briton went on the attack and cut out the errors, 23 of which he had made in the first set. In the second he contained them to six.
Edmund struck back immediately to level at 2-2 and at 5-6 saved a set point and went on to level the match on his second setpoint.
Now the momentum was clearly swinging the Britons way as he forged to a 3-0 lead in the third after collecting five consecutive games. He kept up the attack and forced Seppi into a more defensive attitude striding into a 2-sets to one lead with some trademark forehands at his first attempt.
Seppi recovered some of his poise in the fourth forcing Edmund to be more patient. He took a medical time-out for treatment to his right shoulder early in the set, saved three break points in the second game and another two in the sixth but eventually conceded it in the eighth and was forced to see his adversary serve out with an in-out forehand for match point, and then capitulating under a crunching service winner.
“It was a really interesting match,” Edmund said afterwards. “Although it was quite a close first set I didn’t feel like I got off to the best start. He was hitting the ball very clean and dictating a lot of points, so in the second set I really had to try and shift the momentum. But once I broke him in that last game of the second set I really took control of the momentum of the match.
“He’s reached the fourth round quite a few times,” Edmund added. “He’s obviously had two five-setters against Nick [Kyrgios] on this court and won a five-setter against [Ivo] Karlovic, so he’s playing very well, but so was I. I’ve won two five-setters, hit a lot of balls. We were both feeling good, but, through to my first quarter-final, I’m very happy.”
Edmund now awaits the winner of the Grigor Dimitrov evening match with Nick Kyrgios.