Edmund into last eight
Originally published on 04/01/18 00:00
On a day when Andy Murray announced he would miss the Australian Open for the first time in his career and Johanna Konta suffered an injury against Elina Svitolina, Edmund battled past a tenacious opponent to maintain his fine early season form.
The 22-year-old, still chasing a maiden ATP title, will tackle defending champion, Grigor Dimitrov, in the last eight on Friday. The Bulgarian was pushed to the brink in his opening match of the year against John Millman, but prevailed 4-6 7-6(8) 6-3 after saving two match-points.
"I'm just very pleased with the way I played on those key points and especially on the match-points,” said Dimitrov, who extended his winning run to six matches.
“I think that gives me a certain amount of confidence coming into any other match that I have to play now."
Dimitrov and Edmund have met just once before, in Washington, D.C. last year, and it was the Bulgarian who edged it in three sets.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Ryan Harrison squeezed past Yannick Hanfmann 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 and Denis Istomin overcame Jared Donaldson 7-6(5) 6-2.
In the women’s event, Karolina Pliskova made it through to the semi-finals after a 3-6 7-5 6-2 triumph over Kaia Kanepi. The Czech launched her season on Wednesday with a thumping win over CiCi Bellis, but found it much tougher against the experienced Estonian.
“I was little bit surprised in the first set and a half with how well she [Kanepi] played,” remarked Pliskova, after recovering from a precarious position to claim victory.
“For the big risk what she was playing with, she had almost zero mistakes, so I think she was playing very well. The only thing I could do was just wait for my chance, and I got it.”
Pliskova, the No. 2 seed, will encounter Elina Svitolina in the last four. The pair have met on six occasions and the Czech has only lost once.
In the two other quarter-finals, Anastasija Sevastova eased past Aleksandra Krunic 6-2 6-4 and Aliaksandra Sasnovich edged a third set shootout with Alize Cornet.
At the Shenzhen Open in China, Simona Halep registered a routine 6-2 6-2 win over Aryna Sabalenka in just 57 minutes and Maria Sharapova also enjoyed a smooth passage into the last four by dispatching Zarina Diyas 6-3 6-3.
The world No.1 will encounter Irina-Camelia Begu in the semi-finals while the Russian will challenge Katerina Siniakova.