Kyle Edmund fought back in punishing heat to beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets and reach the Australian Open fourth round.
The Briton, 23, recovered from a mid-match slump as the temperature hit 39C to win 7-6 (7-0) 3-6 4-6 6-0 7-5.
Edmund, ranked 49th, took control by converting his eighth break point in a remarkable 20-minute game at the start of the fourth set.
He will face Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic or Italian Andreas Seppi in the last 16.
Edmund is through to the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the second time, and the first time in Melbourne – and he certainly earned his place over a gruelling three hours and 34 minutes.
It had been forecast all week that Friday would be the hottest day of the tournament, with a peak of 42C expected later in the day, but that did not make it any easier to deal with.
Edmund racked up 70 winners and 64 errors, and missed 20 of 27 break points, in a contest of wildly fluctuating momentum, but it was a day to get through rather than worry about the statistics.
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The Briton required early attention to his shoulder but looked in complete control when he led by a set and a break, only for his form to dip alarmingly.
Fifteen forehand errors contributed to seven straight games for the resurgent Basilashvili, and the world number 61 appeared to be coping with the conditions better as he moved two sets to one up.
The momentum would shift decisively in the second game of the fourth set, an epic contest in itself.
After 20 minutes, 15 deuces and eight break points, Edmund finally clinched it, raising his fists in triumph, and he would race through the rest of the set in just 19 minutes.
It was a credit to both players that the fifth set was a hard-fought affair, with Edmund missing two more break points at 3-2 and Basilashvili shanking a backhand at 4-4 that could have left him serving for the match.
If Edmund’s Achilles heel had been break points, however, it was double faults that were the downfall of the Georgian.
A 17th of the day left Basilashvili facing the first match point of the contest and he sent a backhand sailing out, to the delight of the watching British contingent – and the relief on an exhausted Edmund.
Edmund in Grand Slams
- By defeating number 11 seed Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4, Denis Istomin 6-2 6-2 6-4 and now Basilashvili, Edmund has recorded his best Australian Open result. His previous best performance was reaching the second round last year
- Edmund’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the last 16 at the 2016 US Open, where he defeated two seeded players before falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets
- In Grand Slams in 2017 Edmund reached the third round at the French Open and the US Open and the second round at Wimbledon and the Australian Open
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