Kyle Edmund is through to the quarterfinals Kyle Edmund is through to the quarterfinals

Edmund seals maiden major quarterfinal

Match Report

In the absence of Andy Murray, the Poms have been quiet this year. Taking a tonking in the Ashes and with no Grand Slam champion to follow, there has been little to brag about.
 
But there is now.

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Kyle Edmund, Yorkshire’s finest, is through to his first major quarterfinal after he worked his way past Andreas Seppi 6-7(4) 7-5 6-2 6-3 in three minutes under three hours. For a set, Seppi was very, very good but for the next three sets, Edmund was better.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Edmund said. “It was a really interesting match. Although it was quite a close first set, I didn’t feel I got off to the best of starts. He was hitting the ball very clean and dictating a lot of points so in the second set, I had to shift the momentum. But I found once I broke him in the last game of the second set, I really took control of the momentum of the match.”

Seppi must have done a deal with the Italian Tennis Federation, one that pays him by the hour. If there is a chance to stretch a match to five sets, Seppi will jump at it. He has gone the distance 37 times before and won 22 of those marathons. That is not a bad run given that this is 52nd Grand Slam appearance – give that man a ticket to a Grand Slam main draw and he is almost guaranteed to play a five setter at some stage.
 
The travelling press pack from Italy have had serious words with their man. Hours, if not days, of their lives have been spent watching old Andreas rack up the sets. Why, they have asked him, do you waste the first three or four hours of these matches? Why, when clearly you can win a match in one set (the fifth), do you need the four sets before to get yourself into a winning position? Seppi does not know; Seppi does not care. Seppi just keeps playing.

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Then again, Edmund has been forced to take the scenic route around his opponents in Melbourne. It had taken him 13 sets to get this far and now here he was taking on the long distance Italian.
 
“He plays very well here,” Edmund said. “He’s reached the fourth round quite a few times, he’s obviously had two five setters against Nick [Kyrgios] on this court and won a five setter against Karlovic. He’s playing very well. But so am I. I’ve won two five setters, hit a lot of balls – we were both feeling good. But through to my first quarterfinal – I’m very happy.”

pattern
Winners
63 Kyle Edmund
42 Andreas Seppi

For 56 minutes, there was not a gnat’s nadger (or should that be gnadger?) between them. Seppi was doing his level best to keep the ball away from Edmund’s forehand while Edmund was keeping his serve safe and sound, hugging it to him as if his life depended on it. This took them to the inevitable tiebreak where still they could not be separated. And then Italy’s marathon man clumped a couple of backhand winners and the first set was his.
 
By this stage, Seppi had committed only five unforced errors. He was keeping everything in lockdown and not allowing the pale, pink-clad Pom a glimmer of an opportunity.
 
This must have been hugely depressing, not to mention exhausting, for Edmund. A couple of days before, he had spent three and a half hours and five sets in the blistering sun to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili on the hottest day of the tournament.

At the time, he reckoned that the actual playing bit was not the problem (even if it was hellishly hot), it was the recovery. The heat sapped every last drop of energy from the system and no amount of refuelling and rehydrating could clear the body of that lingering tiredness.
 
That was when Seppi gave Edmund a shot in the arm. He had broken the Briton’s serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set but then, unexpectedly and inexplicably, he played a stinker of a service game with a handful of errors and Edmund was able to break back. He broke again to snaffle the second set and suddenly it was the 33-year-old Italian who looked leaden-footed and heavy-legged.

As Seppi faded, Edmund rattled through the third set but the marathon man regrouped, as only he can, for the fourth.
 
He fended off three break points at the start of that set but could do nothing as Edmund, 10 years younger and eight kilos stronger, stuck to his guns. By now, Seppi could not stop the Briton from leaning into his favoured forehand and, sure enough, that persistent pressure brought the crucial break.
 
At 5-3 up, nothing was going to stop Edmund from reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal against either Kyrgios or Grigor Dimitrov.

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21 Jan 18
Kyle Edmund after winning his match against Andreas Seppi in the forth round of Australian Open 2018.

Kyle Edmund on court interview (4R)

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