Kyle Edmund reacts to his huge win. Picture: Getty Images
Kyle Edmund reacts to his huge win. Picture: Getty Images

‘I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray’

CAST as a perennial British tennis understudy, Kyle Edmund has finally emerged from Andy Murray's giant shadow.

Born in South Africa, based in the Bahamas and heroic on Rod Laver Arena against Grigor Dimitrov, the understated young Englishman finally grasped what it is to walk in Murray's shoes.

Only the sixth British male to reach a grand slam semi-final since 1968, Edmund advanced 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 to richly deserved new status.

Unseeded, and basically unknown to all but tennis purists, the understated Edmund added another dimension to the tournament of surprises.

With either of Tennys Sandgren or Hyeon Chung guaranteed to reach the last four, the sport's under-class is rising against the establishment.

Ranked 49th in the world, and now assured of a climb to about No 25, Edmund will next face either world No 1 Rafael Nadal or Croat sixth seed Marin Cilic on Thursday for a place in Sunday's final.

Kyle Edmund reacts to his huge win. Picture: Getty Images
Kyle Edmund reacts to his huge win. Picture: Getty Images

Still to win an ATP final, Edmund was stunned after toppling world No 3 Dimitrov, who was bitterly disappointing - and made to look so by the inspired Yorkshireman.

"It's an amazing feeling, I'm very happy. It was a hard match, I've had lots of matches so far," Edmund said.

"I tried to enjoy the moment. It's my first match on this court (Rod Laver Arena) and it was special.

"He's (Dimitrov) played hard matches, I knew it was going to be tough.

"I had a dip in the second set, but I broke him at the end of the third, had a blip in the fourth and at the end prayed that last ball was out."

Told he had joined Andy Murray, Tim Henman, Roger Taylor, John Lloyd and Greg Rusedski as British grand slam semi-finalists, Edmund grinned.

"It's great. You don't think of those things when you're playing," he said.

"But I'm sure it's going to be something I'm going to be proud of. It's very pleasing. Of course I want to keep going."

Pressed on the significance of the most important day of his career, Edmund said: "Yeah, I know what it's like to be Andy Murray now for the last seven or eight years.

Kyle Edmund showed great composure against Grigor Dimitrov. Picture: AP Photo
Kyle Edmund showed great composure against Grigor Dimitrov. Picture: AP Photo

"It's a good pressure to have."

Watching from afar, injured Murray - five times runner-up at Melbourne Park - tweeted one word.

"Wow!."

At 23, Edmund has been plagued by injury.

But his ballistic forehand and admirable composure were too much for hot favourite Dimitrov.

He might have inwardly feared being hauled in by the Bulgarian ironman and when he failed to consolidate a service break at 3-2 in the fourth set and lost his own delivery, alarm bells rang.

But he coolly secured another service break against the erratic Dimitrov before - at the second attempt - serving it out.

In a final twist, he had to wait on a HawkEye review on a Dimitrov challenge everybody in the stadium knew would fail.



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