Tennis Channel recaps early quarterfinal action from the Australian Open, where Kyle Edmund upset No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov and Elise Mertens knocked off No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina.
USA TODAY Sports
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — There will be a British man in the Australian Open semifinals for the seventh time in nine years. This time it’ll be Kyle Edmund, not Andy Murray.
Edmund upset No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the semifinals for the first time. Edmund had never played in a major quarterfinal, had never won five consecutive matches at tour level, had lost both of his previous matches against Dimitrov and had never beaten a top five player.
He checked all those boxes at Rod Laver Arena, setting himself up for a match against either top-ranked Rafael Nadal or No. 6 Marin Cilic for a spot in the final of the season’s first Grand Slam.
After breaking Dimitrov’s serve in the ninth game of the fourth set, Edmund set up match point with an ace. Then he had to wait before a video challenge confirmed that Dimitrov’s last shot — a floating backhand — was out.
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“I just held my nerve in that last game and prayed that last ball would be out,” Edmund said. It was out, and so was Dimitrov, who lost a thrilling five-set semifinal here last year to Nadal and had only just beaten Edmund two weeks ago at the Brisbane International.
“When you’re on these types of stages, reaching the last stages of the best tournaments in the world, it’s very pleasing. But of course I want to keep going,” Edmund said.
Dimitrov, who won the season-ending ATP Finals last November, was coming off back-to-back wins over No. 30 Andrey Rublev and Nick Kyrgios, who was the last Aussie still in contention in the tournament.
“There’s no point for me to say what I did wrong — it’s all about him right now,” Dimitrov said, referring to Edmund. “Everything went his way today. It’s hard to hide a disappointment. It hurts, and so it should.”
Murray has reached five Australian Open finals, but has never won the title at Melbourne Park. He’s missing the season-opening major this year after deciding to have surgery on his hip.
That leaves 23-year-old Edmund, who had a first-round upset over U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson, as the center of attention for the tennis-loving British public.
“I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray the last eight years,” he said. “It’s probably the first time I’ve done well on my own, so there’s more attention there. Of course you take it in stride.”