Melbourne - Britain's Kyle Edmund came through a gruelling
physical test to reach the round of 16 for the first time at the Australian
Open Friday, admitting the match took a lot out of him.
The 49th-ranked Edmund fought back, taking the last two sets
in blistering heat to win 7-6 (7/0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 in 3hr 34min on Show
Court Two against Nikoloz Basilashvili.
"It's really hard to put if it's the best win or not.
For sure, the physical test was a great win for me," Edmund said.
"Best-of-five sets in that kind of heat, really good
for my career and my confidence going forward, for sure.
"Physically and mentally that type of match takes a lot
out of you. Just to keep fighting and chipping away. The heat zaps the energy
out of you."
Edmund turned the match by coming out on top in a marathon
20-minute second game in the fourth set, which ebbed and flowed for 15 deuces
with the British player taking it on his eighth break point.
From there he powered on and edged out the Georgian in a
tight fifth set.
"Yeah, probably the longest game in my career,"
"I mean, sets get played as quick as that. That game
actually worked out to be a very key game, because that game was a set from
Edmund, who upset 11th seed Kevin Anderson in the opening
round and followed it up with a win over Denis Istomin, will now face Italian
Andreas Seppi in Sunday's fourth round.
"It's a fresh match. Doesn't really matter about
head-to-heads or what their number is in the bracket next to their name,"
Edmund said of his next challenge.
"There are a lot of seeds that have gone out. I have to
be ready for battle. That's the way I look at it."
Edmund, the only British man in the main draw after Andy
Murray's injury withdrawal, reached the round of 16 at the 2016 US Open where
he fell to Novak Djokovic.
The British player hit 20 aces among his 70 winners and
broke Basilashvili's serve seven times from 27 opportunities for his second
career win over the Georgian.