Unheralded Brit Kyle Edmund says he’s not in the Australian Open quarter-finals to make up the numbers and believe he has what it takes to win his first grand slam title.
The world No.49 has a final-eight berth booked on Tuesday against world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted local hope Nick Kyrgios.
Edmund had a tight four-set win over Italian Andreas Seppi in the fourth round, only managing one straight-sets win en route.
The 23-year-old is the first British man apart from the injured Andy Murray to reach the last eight in Melbourne since John Lloyd on the grass back in 1985 – and the first other than Murray at any slam since Tim Henman 14 years ago.
Edmund’s previous best Open result was a second-round appearance last year when Dimitrov was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals an epic five-setter.
Few give him any chance of upsetting Dimitrov, who recorded the biggest victory of his career when he won the year-end ATP Finals in London in November.
But Edmund is a believer.
“You have to believe it,” he said.
“I mean, that’s why I’m in the quarter-finals because every time I step on the court and I’m playing, I believe I’m going to win so it’s no different now.”
Edmund can take confidence from his last meeting against Dimitrov, who was at his best in the four-set win over Kyrgios.
At this month’s Brisbane quarter-finals, he pushed the Bulgarian before falling 6-3 6-7 (7-3) 6-4.
“Brisbane was obviously a very good match,” Edmund said.
“I played well … Of course we can take things from that. There were a lot of things I did well and maybe a few things I could do better.”
With his patchy Open form before the Kyrgios match, 26-year-old Dimitrov said he wouldn’t be underestimating Edmund, who he also beat in three sets in Washington last year.
“He’s gone that far so for sure I need to be ready,” said Dimitrov, who despite his success is still searching for his maiden grand slam title.
“There is no place for underestimation or anything like that.
“At the beginning of the tournament, I wasn’t hitting the ball too well but I’m happy that I went up a gear and played better and hopefully I can do even better in the next match.”
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