Britain’s number two tennis player Kyle Edmund has reached the semi-final of the Australian Open.
The unseeded 23-year-old stunned world number three Grigor Dimitrov by winning in four sets in Melbourne, setting up a clash with either world number one Rafael Nadal or Wimbledon champion Marin Cilic.
He becomes only the sixth British man to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam in the Open era.
“I really held my nerve in that last game and prayed that ball was out,” he said.
“I want to keep going. Enjoy it today and be ready for Thursday.”
:: Edmund’s game by numbers (@AustralianOpen):
- 13 aces
- 4 double faults
- 46 winners
- 48 unforced errors
- 5/15 break points won
- 6/9 break points saved
- 20/25 net points
- 75% 1st serve won
- 43% 2nd serve won
- Average first serve 116mph
With former world number one Andy Murray absent through injury, the British media spotlight has been firmly focused on Edmund in recent days.
But it showed little sign of affecting him despite having never played in a Grand Slam quarter-final, showing no nerves as he blazed away with his fearsome forehand to subdue a nervy Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian struggled to reproduce the form that saw him beat home favourite Nick Kyrgios in the previous round, with his serve especially vulnerable.
Edmund – watched from the front row of the Rod Laver Arena by former British number one Tim Henman – broke decisively at 4-4 in the opening set with a thunderbolt forehand off a weak second serve.
Dimitrov took the second set but never looked completely comfortable against the ultra-aggressive Edmund and a double-fault at 3-4 in the third set proved costly.
The players swapped breaks in the fourth set but Edmund broke again for a 5-4 lead to serve for the match.
A tense final game saw Edmund double-fault but an ace brought up match point and then Dimitrov sliced a backhand long which was confirmed by Hawk-Eye after an agonising wait, bringing the clash to a close after two hours and 49 minutes.
He is the first British man other than Murray to reach last four of the Australian Open since 1977.
“I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray for the last eight years,” he joked.
“It comes with the territory. The better you do, the more attention you get. It’s probably the first time I’ve done well on my own, so there’s more attention, but you try to take it in your stride and try to embrace it as much as possible.
“It’s a good problem to have. The more I keep winning, the better.”
Murray himself seemed almost speechless by Edmund’s stunning win, simply tweeting: “Wow!”