Does the United Kingdom have a new tennis star in its midst? With 23-year-old Kyle Edmund, a 300/1 shot before the Australian Open, now a shock semi-finalist and narrowed to 16/1.
The Johannesburg, South Africa, born star now stands just one win from reaching the final of the years first major (also known as a grand slam), after a stunning quarter final victory over Grigor Dimitrov, the tournaments third seed.
Should Edmund do the unthinkable once again, and defeat Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic, it would be a feat that would mean he overtakes the injured Andy Murray as the British number one.
With Murray still sidelined since Wimbledon of last year, and a number of other stars also being absent most recently, Christopher Kennedy, Head of Tennis at Skybet, talks us through the current market and what Edmund’s run could do for business: “The UK Tennis betting market is in a healthy state but the participation of the high profile players in the big events is very important in attracting many of the casual punters.
“At the back end of last year with the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka all out injured, the interest certainly dipped to an extent.
“We certainly expect to see a spike following Edmund’s stunning run. Andy Murray matches are still our biggest staked matches by some way, and a successful Kyle Edmund will be good for tennis business, in getting some of the patriotic punters involved.”
Liverpool fan Edmund, who moved to Yorkshire as a youngster, has been causing upsets since the first round of the tournament, when he disposed of South African 11th seed Kevin Anderson.
The current world number 49, who will rise to 26 even if he loses to Cilic in the last four, went on to defeat Denis Istomin, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Seppi, before his fateful quarter final with Bulgarian Dimitrov.
Kennedy went on to discuss what ongoing Edmund victories could mean for the market: “A successful Kyle Edmund will only be good for tennis business.
“Andy Murray polarized opinion throughout Britain, and this was one of the reasons his matches were so popular with punters. We would have many punters backing both for and against him.
“Edmund seems to have a much calmer demeanour and it will be interesting to see how the British public takes to him. Any high profile matches involving British players always generate a lot of media interest, and there will be good betting opportunities should Edmund sustain success.”
A number of Edmund related specials are now on offer, including ranking related odds and those of grand slam victories in the years up to and including 2020.
Edmund takes to the Rod Laver arena in Melbourne for his semi-final clash with Cilic at 8.30am tomorrow (Thursday 25).