By Ros Satar
- Andy Murray  def. Kyle Edmund 6-4 3-6 6-1
- Faces former champion Marin Cilic next – Murray leads their H2H: 10-2
LONDON, UK – Four time champion Andy Murray moved a step closer to history after facing a test at the hands of the ATP Next Generation’s Kyle Edmund.
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Andy Murray  def. Kyle Edmund 6-4 3-6 6-1
On an auspicious day which saw former champions return to Queen’s, Murray met the challenge of the pretender to the throne, Edmund.
Watched by Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Lleyton Hewitt, Murray edged the first set before the younger Brit showed just how far his game has advanced, as he took advantage of a dip from Murray to level the match.
Hindered also by a fall and what could have been a nasty groin pull, as the Yorkshire-man pressed ahead, Murray wasted no time on closing in on the win.
Edmund has been a practice partner for the World No. 2 and has joined him on his now well-established Miami training block, and the current British No. 1 knows only too well what he can be capable of.
As reported by the ATPWorldTour.com, he said: “Kyle was hitting the ball big throughout the match. At the end of that second set, he was going for it.
“When he’s landing first serves and then getting the first shot of the rally on his forehand, he can dictate a lot of the points. If you want to get to the top of the game, you need to have weapons and he has them.”
Talking to BBC Sport, Edmund said: “I am pleased with the way I played and overall it’s been a positive week for me. I thought I played well but Andy is so tough to beat because he makes it so difficult for you when it really matters.”
With advice similar to that he gave for Nick Kyrgios at perhaps his most contentious, Murray suggested that Edmund be given the time to develop, without the pressure of expectation being thrust on him
As reported in BBC Sport, he said: “Kyle’s the future of the game in this country. It’s important that he’s given time to develop at his own rate and not too much pressure is put on him.
“He’s doing great, he’s improving every year and he’s got a really good team behind him.
“If he’s given time and a little bit of space to keep developing and not too much pressure on the results at this stage, he can go very far.”
With Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith also watching, he agreed that Edmund had shown he was not cowed by the situation, and he was able to celebrate his first round win against Top 20 player Gilles Simon as a strong positive from this week.
Murray v Marin Cilic – H2H: Murray leads 10-2
It has been a while since the pair have faced each other, with the Brit getting the better of the big serving Croatian in the Beijing quarter-final two years ago.
Earlier that year, Cilic had snapped a painful seven match losing streak but it is Murray who rules the roost on grass, including two wins at Queen’s.
Cilic took almost two hours to get past Steve Johnson, who stunned Richard Gasquet in the opening round, and Cilic admitted that he had trouble getting on the end of the American’s serve.
It is an area of Murray’s game that has seen some improvement, especially with his second serve, and it is a golden opportunity for free points if it fires well.
Cilic’s serve, and his second one in particular are easy for him to gain the early advantage, and Murray will need to be pin-point sharp on his return games, as well as looking to move him around.
Prediction: Murray in two sets.
Murray v Cilic are scheduled on Centre Court, at 1:15pm BST, followed by the second semi-final between Milos Raonic & Bernard Tomic.
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