There will be a British player in the quarter-finals of a grand slam once more but on this occasion it is Kyle Edmund, in his maiden quarter final, rather than Andy Murray who makes it there. It won’t be easy for him to advance to the final four with Grigor Dimitrov, but the matchup could offer a glance into the future of men’s tennis in the UK if Murray’s injuries were to cut his career short.
After looking shaky in the previous few rounds, Dimitrov finally upped his level to see off the huge threat of Nick Kyrgios in 4 sets. He held his nerve in three tiebreaks, most impressively in the last of them after it looked like he was vulnerable after failing to serve out the match up 5-3. Despite seeing 36 aces whizz past him, Dimitrov managed to pick his spots and win important points throughout the match. “The first couple of rounds or even the three first rounds I was not striking the ball well. I know that, but I was still clutch on the important moments, which was good.” he said. “But today I was just able to overtake my game completely differently, having a high percentage in the first serve, high percentage on the return. Being able to play my game a little bit more, counting a little bit more on my strongest weapons, and, yeah, I think that was a good step forward for me.”
Edmund is still not a household name in Britain and it will probably remain that way unless he were to win a slam but the 23 year old has been impressive in the way he has dealt with the draw to make it this far. Andreas Seppi is far from the worst opponent to face in the last 16 but he coped well under the pressure after losing the first set. His 25 aces frustrated the Italian on serve, who only managed to break once and 0 total break points in the final 2 sets. Edmund and Dimitrov played earlier in the year with the Bulgarian edging it in a tight three setter. However, Edmund will take a lot from that and know he can push his more illustrious opponent. “Yeah, it was obviously a very good match. I played well; he played well. I enjoyed being out there in Brisbane. So yeah, of course, we can take things from that. There is a lot of things I did do well. Maybe a few things I could do better, and I will try and do that if I play him.” he said in reference to the loss.
Prediction – Grigor Dimitrov in 4 sets