Tennis: Kyle Edmund steps out of Andy Murray's shadow

Kyle Edmund celebrating after defeating Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open on Jan 23, 2018.
Kyle Edmund celebrating after defeating Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open on Jan 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - 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 on Tuesday (Jan 23).

The unseeded Edmund, ranked 49th, won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2hr 49min on Rod Laver Arena and will face either 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or Marin Cilic for a place in the final.

Edmund also became only the sixth British man to make the last four at a Grand Slam.

It also 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.

"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 of player like Grigor. They're great feelings. You don't obviously 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 obviously 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.

"It's probably the first time I've done well on my own. So it is more attention there, but of course you just take it in your stride, trying to embrace it as much as possible."

The only other British men to get so far at a Slam were Henman, Murray, John Lloyd, Roger Taylor and Greg Rusedski.

Murray, Lloyd and Taylor did it in Australia.

Edmund, who upset US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the opening round, broke Dimitrov's serve five times and hit 46 winners and 48 unforced errors.