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Edmund Stuns Anderson In Five-Set Thriller

It did not take long for a classic to unfold at the 2018 Australian Open. And if the rest of the fortnight lives up to how it has begun, fans around the world are in for a treat.

World No. 49 Kyle Edmund recovered from a 0-2 deficit in the fifth set to spring an early upset against the No. 11 seed Kevin Anderson, withstanding 35 aces in his 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory that lasted three hours, 59 minutes.

Kyle Edmund comes back from a break down in the fifth set to defeat No. 11 seed Kevin Anderson at Melbourne Park on Monday.
"It was a really good result for me," said Edmund. "[There are] so many positive reasons - just getting through a tough match like that [against] a quality player... Just the overall thought [is a] personal satisfaction, the hours you put in, training. Those type of results make it just really feel good, worth it basically. So [I'm] really happy."

It was no surprise that this was a match of the highest quality after Edmund showed his good form by pushing 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov to 4-4 in the third set before succumbing to the Bulgarian in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. The 23-year-old defeated Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung in the previous round and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov in his opener in Brisbane.

But what stood out on Show Court 3 against Anderson was his fighting spirit. Many players would put their heads down when broken by the massive-serving South African hours into a tough battle, especially after losing to him in five sets at Roland Garros last year. Yet Edmund came right back with tremendous returning to break in the very next game.

And while Anderson did well to save two break points from 15/40 at 3-3 in the final set, Edmund seized his third opportunity two points later to gain a lead he would not relinquish, earning two more holds without dropping a point on serve to clinch the triumph.

Edmund will next confront Denis Istomin, who battled through a tough fourth set to defeat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(3).

The Edmund-Anderson classic was not the only thriller early on opening day.

Ryan Harrison, who proved his form early on in 2018 with a run to his third ATP World Tour final at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (l. to Kyrgios), was down and nearly out at Melbourne Park. But after breaking when Dudi Sela served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set, Harrison stormed back to oust the Israeli 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

The 25-year-old broke at nine of 19 opportunities and hit 62 winners to advance to the second round, where he will face the No. 31 seed Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan took out Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(6), 6-3, 7-5.

And while it looked for a moment that No. 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who played two matches at last year's Nitto ATP Finals as an alternate, would perhaps suffer the same fate as Anderson, the Spaniard navigated his way past Australian wild card Jason Kubler 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Carreno Busta fell behind 1-4 in the third set before winning the next nine games to take a commanding lead. The right-hander broke serve nine times in the match, including six times in the final two sets alone.

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