Kyle Edmund is helping British tennis fans forget that Andy Murray was an injury no-show at the Australian Open. Edmund advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time — his best Grand Slam singles result — with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win Sunday over 33-year-old Andreas Seppi, a player 10 years his senior.
In mentioning Edmund, the statistics sheets at Melbourne Park were full of references to Murray, the five-time losing finalist in Australian Open and three-time Grand Slam champion who pulled out of the season-opening major to have hip surgery.
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No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov too advanced to the quarterfinals at the expense of the last Aussie in the draw. Dimitrov avenged a loss two weeks ago to Nick Kyrgios with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4) win over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday night.
Following his victory over Seppi, Edmund will take on third-seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.
He played Dimitrov at the Brisbane International two weeks ago and lost in three sets in the semifinals.
The Johannesburg-born Edmund is the first British man other than Murray to reach the quarterfinals in Melbourne since John Lloyd was beaten in the quarters in 1985.
He is the eighth British man to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament in the Open era, but he has a ways to go to catch Murray's 30 appearances.
Pretty good for Brit not named Murray to get this far, and he's noticing the extra attention.
"I guess maybe more messages on social media and stuff or whatever ... there's obviously a bit more attention the more matches you win," he said. "That's obviously encouraging."
With a current ATP ranking of 49, Edmund is clearly a work in progress, but heading in the right direction. He's already notched five-set wins over U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round here and Nikoloz Basilashvili in the third. His win against No. 12-ranked Anderson was a career-best performance.
He can't pinpoint any major physical changes he's made to his game, so perhaps it's all mental.
"I'm making better decisions in the moments I need to, or playing smarter tennis," Edmund said. "It's a very small margin and balance between winning and losing. It's always been like that."
Seppi was impressed.
"He played very well, really picked up the pace in the third and fourth sets," said Seppi, who received treatment in the final set for a right shoulder ailment. "It was an impressive performance."
(With AP Inputs)