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Edmund On The Cusp of a Career First

Kyle Edmund is a win away from celebrating the best Grand Slam tournament of his life. The 23-year-old matched his best Grand Slam showing on Friday, winning 13 of the final 18 games of his third-round match to beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.

“It was really good to win a match like that in tough conditions - mentally, physically,” said Edmund. “[There are] just lots of positives. Physically and mentally it takes a lot out of you, that type of match - just to keep fighting and chipping away. The heat [also] zaps the energy out of you.”

Kyle Edmund survives the heat and his opponent, Nikoloz Basilashvili in a five-set thriller to advance to the fourth round at the 2018 Australian Open.
Edmund advances to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the second time. He also made the Round of 16 at the 2016 US Open before falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

But he won't have to face another member of the “Big Four” when he plays to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne. Edmund, No. 49 in the ATP Rankings, will next face Italy's Andreas Seppi.

“He’s a very tough opponent,” said Seppi. “He can play some very fast tennis, especially with the forehand. Yes, of course, he is very dangerous. But I think it's another good match for me. Hopefully, I can play some other good tennis in the next round.

“He's one of the best upcoming players. He has a very powerful game. I think for sure he can do well in the next years.”

Basilashvili had all the momentum after breaking the Brit twice to win the third set. The Georgian, who reached the Memphis Open final last year, was attempting to become only the fourth player from his country to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

But Edmund substantially raised his game in the fourth set, not facing a break point and converting three of his 13 chances to force a fifth. In the final set, Edmund broke in the 12th game to finish in three hours and 34 minutes.

It's the second time this tournament that Edmund has come back from two sets to one down. He also overcame the deficit when upsetting 11th seed Kevin Anderson in the first round.

Later in the day, Seppi, appearing at his 52nd Grand Slam championship, broke Ivo Karlovic twice in their three-hour and 51-minute encounter to record a 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-7(5), 9-7 victory, to reach the fourth round for the second successive year.

“I think today was more mentally [difficult] than physically,” said Seppi. “In the end was a very long match. Leading out two sets to love, then playing the fifth where you know there is no tie-break, you know you have to break him, it is not easy.”

Seppi, currently No. 76 in the ATP Rankings, struck 23 aces to Karlovic’s 52 aces, with 82 winners to 93. Both performed well on first serve with Seppi winning 86 of his 101 points (85 per cent), while Karlovic went 104/129 (81 per cent).


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