Preview: Cilic Seeks Third Slam Final; Edmund Looking To Continue Career Run

Edmund will attempt to reach his first Grand Slam final

If you like your tennis powerful, you will want to watch Thursday's Australian Open semi-final between Marin Cilic and Kyle Edmund.

The Croatian and Brit, without an ounce of hyperbole, have two of the strongest forehands on the ATP World Tour, and the booming shot has helped both of them achieve career milestones this fortnight Down Under.

Edmund has used his to make himself comfortable during the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time. Before this fortnight, the unseeded 23-year-old had never won two five-set matches at the same tournament or reached past the fourth round of a Grand Slam (2016 US Open).

View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the semi-final match-ups at the Australian Open & vote for the players you think will win! 
Cilic vs Edmund  |  Federer vs Chung

And his path, just like Cilic's, has made him outplay some of the hottest players on the ATP World Tour. Edmund knocked off US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round, and the Brit upset Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

“In the key moments I maybe stepped up well and was brave, really went for my shots, and they came good. I believed that I could pull off some good stuff,” Edmund said after beating Dimitrov.

The 29-year-old Cilic collected his second win against a World No. 1 when he beat Rafael Nadal in five sets to advance to the semi-finals, the Croatian's second in Melbourne and his fifth overall (2-2). Cilic, a Top 10 player the past two seasons, also erased a six-match losing streak against Top 5 opposition.

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“Extremely pleased with my own game. Even in these other matches before this one, I played great tennis. Very, very high level,” Cilic said after advancing when Nadal retired down 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), 2-6, 0-2.

Both players, but especially Edmund, are at a different level to start the 2018 season, but they do have a past FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter. Last year at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, Cilic dismissed the Brit in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(5).

Cilic easily has the experience edge as well, having won the 2014 US Open (d. Nishikori) and reached the 2017 Wimbledon final (l. to Federer). It's only the second time in his five semi-finals that Cilic will not face a member of the “Big Four” – Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Cilic's Past Grand Slam Semi-Finals





2017 Wimbledon

(24) Sam Querrey


6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5

2015 US Open

(1) Novak Djokovic


6-0, 6-1, 6-2

2014 US Open

(2) Roger Federer


6-3, 6-4, 6-4

2010 Australian Open

(5) Andy Murray


3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

“I'm going to prepare for that match like for any other one. Kyle had amazing run here. A lot of tough matches, played great tennis. He's also very entertaining to watch. Big hitter, great serve, great forehand. Plays great on the hard courts,” Cilic said.

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“For me a big focus is to continue with my own game. I cannot influence him much across the net, but going to try to take care of my things on my part of the court. Hopefully I'm going to have another great match.”

But Edmund also had never beaten Dimitrov (0-2) before their quarter-final on Tuesday. “The main thing I focus on is I'm in a good place,” Edmund said. “There's no reason why I can't go out there and put a good level on the court, enjoy the occasion again... Just try to take it in my stride as best as I can.”

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Edmund, by reaching the semi-finals, became only the sixth British male in Open Era history (April 1968) to make a Grand Slam semi-final. Edmund joined countrymen Roger Taylor, John Lloyd, Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman and Andy Murray.

Cilic made Croatian history by reaching the last four as well. He became the first Croatian player – man or woman – to reach multiple semi-finals at two different Grand Slams.