Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Confidence Boost for Edmund as He Survives Open Heat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Confidence Boost for Edmund as He Survives Open Heat

Article excerpt

KYLE Edmund celebrated one of the best victories of his career after coming from two sets to one down to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili in searingly-hot conditions at the Australian Open.

Britain's last remaining singles hope looked to be struggling as temperatures hit 40.2C - but he showed tremendous reserves of physical and mental resilience to come through 7-6 (7/0) 3-6 4-6 6-0 7-5 and reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time.

Edmund's progress was held back last year by a failure to win close matches and he arrived in Australia having lost his last three five-setters.

However, he has answered the doubters spectacularly, going the distance against US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in round one and then against Georgian Basilashvili yesterday.

One interested spectator back home was Andy Murray, who watched the match in the middle of the night and then tweeted to call it the biggest win of Edmund's career.

The 23-year-old said: "It's definitely up there.

"It's really hard to say if it's the best win or not.

"For sure, the physical test, it was a great, great win for me to come through like that in a grand slam.

"Best-of-five sets in that kind of heat, it's really good for my career and my confidence going forward."

Edmund suffered a lull after appearing in control at a set and a break up but a 20-minute Basilashvili service game early in the fourth set, where he finally broke, turned the match in his favour.

He won only seven of 27 break points and made 64 unforced errors but this was a day for heart and fortitude rather than exceptional tennis - and Edmund was not found wanting.

Basilashvili, ranked 61 to Edmund's 49, quickly settled for a deciding set after his titanic service game, which featured eight break points and 15 deuces, and came back strongly in the fifth.

However, after Edmund had coolly saved a break point at 4-4, Basilashvili sent down his 17th double fault to hand his opponent a match point and then netted a backhand. …

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