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Dimitrov Outlasts Edmund To Book Kyrgios Clash

Defending champion Grigor Dimitrov set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp after defeating Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-7(3) 6-4 on Friday night.

The World No. 3 moved to a 16-4 career record in the Queensland event after a hard-fought two-hour, 25-minute win over Edmund and will meet home favourite Kyrgios, who came from behind to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.

Grigor Dimitrov reaches his fourth semi-final in Brisbane after hard-fought win over Kyle Edmund on Friday.
Dimitrov will attempt to increase his seven-match winning streak further in his semi-final against Kyrgios. The two, who last met in the 2017 Western & Southern Open final, have clashed on two previous occasions with Dimitrov winning both to lead their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“He can do everything pretty much out there on the court,” said Dimitrov. “I have just got to be ready all the time; simple as that. You just never know what can come from him. I think obviously he's one of the most talented players out there; it's without a doubt. He can serve and hit every shot. He hits the spots, the slice and is even moving better.

“So he's definitely a challenger. He has proven himself, last year playing quite a few good matches, getting to the final we played against each other in Cincinnati. He has everything to beat anyone and he has proven that."

The first set was ultimately decided in the seventh and eighth games with both men finding themselves down, 15/40 on serve. Last year's Nitto ATP Finals champion first managed to serve his way out of trouble at 3-3 before pouncing in the next game to establish a lead which he would close out, with an unreturned serve, in the following game for the first set.

Edmund and Dimitrov both confidently held serve in the second set, with the only break opportunity falling the way of Dimitrov in the ninth game. The 26-year-old was presented with two break points at 15/40 to serve for the match, but the World No. 50 stepped up his game with confident play including a huge forehand winner to ultimately regain control and hold serve for 5-4.

After three further service holds, a tie-break was needed and it was Edmund who would emerge with the set. Changing ends with a 4/2 lead after a Dimitrov double fault, the 22-year-old who was looking to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final since the Erste Bank Open 500 in October 2017, managed to create three set point chances at 6/3. He only needed one, levelling the match with a rifled forehand return winner.

Hoping to keep aspirations of securing a ninth ATP World Tour title this week, Dimitrov worked his way to two early break points at 1-0 but once again Edmund produced on the big points, drawing an error from the Bulgarian and then firing down an unreturned serve before eventually levelling at 1-1.

Deep in the decider at 4-4, the match would take an unfortunate turn. Edmund, originally wrong-footed by his opponent’s forehand, fell heavily on his ankle before Dimitrov leaped over the net to rush to his rival’s aid before a lengthy medical time-out.

Dimitrov held his serve and capitalised in the following game, watching an Edmund backhand sail beyond the baseline to reach the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp semi-finals for a fourth time. Edmund, still aiming to capture his first ATP World Tour title, took the positives out of the match and his week in Queensland and will look to use his experiences moving forward in 2018.

“It was a good match,” said Edmund. “I thought I played well. He played well. We were both really into it. From my side of things personally, it was a lot of positives. A lot of stuff I'm working on that really showed against the World No. 3. It was positive, this week, against three top players.”


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