Kyle Edmund v Marin Cilic: Talking points ahead of Australian Open semi-final showdown

MAN OF THE MOMENT: Beverley's Kyle Edmund
MAN OF THE MOMENT: Beverley's Kyle Edmund
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YORKSHIRE'S Kyle Edmund faces the biggest match of his life today when he takes on sixth seed Marin Cilic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The British No 2, from Beverley, has produced a stunning run in Melbourne, knocking out US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round and third seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Here, we look at three key talking points ahead of the match.

Handling the occasion

Edmund has played on the biggest courts in tennis before but never at the crunch stage of a slam. Coach Fredrik Rosengren has encouraged him to embrace his nerves rather than fear them and the 23-year-old has done a superb job so far of staying cool.

His low-key nature helps, while all the pressure is on Cilic, who has been known to get anxious at big moments.

Eurosport pundit Pat Cash has been impressed, saying: "I like Kyle's composure, he doesn't seem to get flustered by too much and he seems to be very calm and collected in his interviews, which is a very good characteristic, especially when you're playing on the centre court.

TALE OF THE TAPE: But who will prevail in Melbourne. Graphic: Graeme Bandeira.

TALE OF THE TAPE: But who will prevail in Melbourne. Graphic: Graeme Bandeira.

"He enters the semi-final with absolutely nothing to lose, to go out on court as the underdog gives you freedom to swing for the lines and play without that pressure."

Serve

Edmund's serve has been the key improvement in his game that has helped carry him to the last four. He remodelled it during the off-season with Rosengren and his other coach Mark Hilton and the results have been impressive.

The Swede said: "You can put more risk into your return if you know you believe in your serve, you're holding your serves mostly easily. It is very, very important and I'm very happy that also Kyle wanted to change."

He is winning more free points thanks to better placement while he is using his legs more to get extra power through the delivery. Cilic has one of the best serves in the game so it is essential Edmund is not under too much pressure, too often.

Forehand

Edmund's forehand was hardly a secret weapon, he has been using it to pulverise opponents since his junior days, but finding a way to counter it has proved much more difficult for the world's best.

The Yorkshireman has hit more forehand winners than any other player in the tournament and must try to use it to dictate to Cilic, who has a much bigger game than Dimitrov and will also look to get the first strike in.

Former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson has been practising with Edmund at the invitation of fellow Swede Rosengren. "The amount of power that he can create from a ball that has no energy is quite amazing," said Johansson.

"He's hitting the ball so heavy, so hard, and as soon as he gets hold of the opponent with the forehand, it's lethal. Marin has more experience but I know what Kyle is capable of."