Leon Smith: Best is yet to come for Kyle Edmund

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The Australian Open semi-finals are just the start for Kyle Edmund, according to Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

Smith has helped nurture Edmund’s talent over a number of years and was in his box for all the matches of his sensational run at Melbourne Park, which ended with a semi-final defeat by Marin Cilic.

The 23-year-old will climb inside the world’s top 30 for the first time, with many pundits tipping Edmund as a future top-10 or top-five player and a potential grand slam champion.

Smith sees no reason why that cannot be the case, telling Press Association Sport:  “He’s got such a big game, he’s 23, he’s getting better. His best tennis is obviously still to come.

“Everything’s really worked for him this week. He’ll keep improving now. I think the biggest thing is his mindset shift, he’ll really think he’s got a shot of beating the top guys now.

“You can’t predict how far someone can go but what you do know is he’s on an upward curve. He’s pretty much halved his ranking from when he started the year already so now he can push on and make some great progress.

“But the most important thing is he’s got to keep the process that he’s been doing, not think too far ahead of where he might finish the year. It’s not about that right now, it’s understanding that what you’re doing is working so push harder again.”

Edmund had overcome all the challenges put in front of him, winning two five-set matches and withstanding extreme heat, but sixth seed Cilic was a step too far.

Edmund was treated off court for a hip problem after losing the first set and looked weary in mind and body as Cilic eased to a 6-2 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 victory.

Smith said: “Obviously he’ll be disappointed losing, because rightly he’ll have felt he was in with a shot, but it’s been an amazing run.

“When he wakes up in the morning he’ll realise what progress he’s made and the rankings will come out after this tournament and he’ll realise it’s a massive step forwards and he can really push on now and keep improving.

“The big thing is the belief that he has now and that it’s even more worthwhile to push again and more worthwhile to get physically stronger and keep working on his game. The improvements he’s made already from pre-season are paying massive dividends so I’m pretty sure he’s going to realise, ‘I can go the extra step now so I’m going to push harder again’, and that’s a really good thing.”

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