Kyle Edmund is getting a sense of the excitement his Australian Open run is causing in Britain while he keeps his focus firmly on today’s semi-final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
The 23-year-old Yorkshireman has stunningly emerged as a contender for the grand slam title at Melbourne Park, beating US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round and third seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
Edmund joked after his victory against Dimitrov that he now knows how Andy Murray feels after finding himself in the spotlight.
“It’s obviously been a lot more attention than I usually get, just loads more text messages, messages on social media,” he said.
“I know my family have been really busy with stuff there. The reaction has been amazing but I’m really just trying to block that out because I’m still playing in the tournament.”
Edmund’s parents Steven and Denise are, of course, keen supporters of his career and will be in Marbella next week for Britain’s Davis Cup tie against Spain. But they have had to follow their son’s remarkable progress on TV in the middle of the night. They will not be making a last-minute dash Down Under – at least not yet. Edmund is not short of support in Australia, led by coach Fredrik Rosengren, who has been trying to help his charge deal with everything on and off the court.
The 57-year-old, one of the most experienced coaches in the business, said: “I think he realised more and more that his life changed. I hope he enjoys it a lot. This comes with the success.”
Cilic is through to the semi-finals for the second time in Melbourne after outlasting Rafael Nadal, who retired with a hip muscle problem in the fifth set of their clash.
Cilic lost to Britain’s Dan Evans in the first round here last season but is playing at a different level now and has not been beaten by a player ranked as low as world number 49 Edmund since then.
Edmund is looking to join select British company, with only Andy Murray and John Lloyd having reached the men’s final here in the Open era, while victory over Cilic would see Edmund surpass Murray as British number one.
The pair have met once before, in Shanghai last October, when Cilic won in two tight sets.
Edmund said: “It’s a shame that Rafa had a problem. The fact that I’m facing Marin, it will be a great opportunity for me.”
Meanwhile, Simona Halep won nine games in a row to breeze past Karolina Pliskova and set up a semi-final against former champion Angelique Kerber.
World number one Halep has had a rollercoaster ride, suffering an ankle injury in the first round and then surviving three match points before beating Lauren Davis 15-13 in the deciding set. But since then she has barely put a foot wrong and, after being overpowered by sixth seed Pliskova in the first three games, she turned the tables to claim a 6-3, 6-2 victory.