Edmund Richer From Experience After Breakthrough Run
Kyle Edmund reflected on an unforgettable 11 days at the Australian Open after his semi-final loss to Marin Cilic in his post-match press conference on Thursday.
The Briton went past the round of 16 at a Grand Slam event for the first time and recorded the biggest win of his career, beating World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, to reach the semi-finals. Asked about his overriding emotions immediately following his three-set loss to Cilic, Edmund pointed towards the newfound experience the deep run in Melbourne has given him.
“[I am] disappointed I lost, but it's been a really good couple of weeks for me,” reflected Edmund. “I got the experience of going deep in a slam for the first time and all the stuff that comes with it. Playing a couple matches on Rod Laver Arena. [I am] obviously disappointed right now, but can be very happy with the way I've gone about things. [I have] played a lot of tough matches. Won some tough matches. Beat good players.”
The pride of reaching the last four in just his fourth appearance at Melbourne Park was clear to see, and Edmund was clear he had desires of making the latter stages of the sport’s biggest events more often moving forward.
“This type of tournament just gives you the bug to want more,” said Edmund. “Once you get a taste, it's like, yeah, I want more of this. I definitely go away from the whole week feeling positive.
“Making the semi-finals of a Grand Slam is definitely something that I can be very happy with and really take that forward with me and build from it. Take belief and confidence from it.”
With just one three-set win across five matches, Edmund was made to work hard for his place in the final four. The 23-year-old was pleased with his run, which marked the first time in his career he had won five consecutive matches, and the way he fought in the longer format of the sport.
“It's been so good,” said Edmund. “[Being at] one of the biggest tournaments of the world and making a good run and beating top players.
“I have also played some long matches. There's nothing better than winning best-of-five-set matches in tennis tournaments. It's a true test of quality and grit. It's a battle. It always feels better when you win these matches at the Grand Slams. It's a test of so many things like endurance, mental [and] physical. To be able to win five matches like I have done, it's really pleasing.”
Due to the absence of compatriot and five-time finalist Andy Murray, Edmund flew the British flag alone at the first Grand Slam event of the year. Subsequent success gave the British No. 2 an insight into the responsibilities he looks set to face in the future as he rises further up the ATP Rankings and further respect for the ATP World Tour’s top stars.
“The attention comes with the territory of doing well. That's what happens. If you embrace it, I think you cope with it better,” reflected Edmund.
“It's important to realize that I probably don't get as much now as a lot of other people will get, so you have to realize there's always someone else dealing with a lot more. The top guys like Roger (Federer) have been doing it their whole life. They crack on and embrace it. It's good to learn from them.”
With Edmund’s ATP Ranking moving inside the Top 30 for the first time in his career on Monday, the Briton, who expressed a strong belief in his abilities, set his sights on rising further up the ATP Rankings with more consistent results.
“I think for me, I know that the more consistently you can play at a high level, that's where you're going to get [a] top ranking and results. It's just putting it together more often,” said Edmund.
Edmund’s 2018 goals may need to be re-evaluated after a great run in Melbourne. The semi-finalist spoke of his aspirations to build on a strong start to 2018 after his ATP Ranking dropped by five places across the course of the 2017 ATP World Tour season.
“[The ranking] was a goal,” Edmund admitted. “Of course doing well in the bigger events, and I wanted to win a lot more closer matches.
“The start of the year has been really good for that. A lot of learning. Tennis doesn't stop. Next week is another tournament and the week after that. It's important to keep the ball rolling.”