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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 27 February 2021

Britain's Kyle Edmund outclassed in bid to reach Australian Open final

Edmund stunned Grigor Dimitrov in his maiden grand slam quarter-final, but Marin Cilic was a cut above.

Australian Open Tennis Marin Cilic booked his place in the Australian Open final. Source: Dita Alangkara

MARIN CILIC ENDED Kyle Edmund’s dream run with an emphatic straight-sets victory to become the first Croatian to reach the Australian Open final.

Edmund stunned Grigor Dimitrov in his maiden grand slam quarter-final, but the powerful Cilic was a cut above the unseeded Brit, winning 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Cilic will face Roger Federer or Hyeon Chung in his third major final on Sunday after his composure and experience shone through in a relentless display from the sixth seed.

Edmund was unable to secure a solitary break and the world number 49 failed to hold on four occasions as Cilic marched on after getting past Rafael Nadal, who retired due to injury when trailing in the final set of their quarter-final.

The 2014 US Open champion fended off two break points for a hold in his opening service game and struck the first blow to go a break up at 4-2 when an Edmund backhand clipped the net before landing wide.

Edmund looked increasingly nervy and the world number six took advantage, pumping his fist after unleashing a ferocious forehand winner to break for a second time and wrap up the opening set.

The Brit took a medical timeout before venting his fury at the chair umpire, who refused to replay a point after Cilic succeeded with a challenge when his serve landed in, Edmund arguing that an ‘out’ call came as he struck the return wide.

An angry Edmund called for the referee to be summoned and gained intensity despite failing to get the point replayed, but struggled to focus as the experienced Cilic retained his composure.

Australian Open Tennis Kyle Edmund argues with supervisor Andreas Egli. Source: Dita Alangkara

A rasping forehand put Cilic a couple of points away from taking the second set at 5-4 up and although Edmund held, he was two sets down when the favourite whistled a backhand past him for a second mini-break to take the tie-break.

Although it was unclear why Edmund required treatment after the opening set, he was not moving as freely, as Cilic continued his charge towards the final, Edmund’s unforced errors and brutal winners giving the Croatian a double-break in the third set.

The gallant Edmund was put of his misery when a backhand return at full stretch struck the net, ending the contest in two hours and 18 minutes.

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