Newsbeat

Australian Open: Kyle Edmund's PE teacher on the 'phenomenon'

Kyle celebrating on court at the Australian Open Image copyright Getty Images

Britain's Kyle Edmund is playing the most important tennis match of his career on Thursday.

The 23-year-old plays Marin Cilic at the Australian Open - the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career.

Newsbeat has been speaking to his old PE teacher, who says a young Kyle was a "phenomenon".

Kyle always had a "desire to be the best" - and the British number two still holds a number of records at the school.

Image caption Russell Parker says Kyle is "far beyond" his advice now

Russell Park was Kyle's PE teacher at Pocklington Prep School in East Riding of Yorkshire.

"He just had that glint in his eye and the desire to be the best," he says.

According to Mr Park, Kyle, who still visits the school, hasn't changed since rising to become British men's number two.

"He was just a lovely lad, which you see now. What you see now, quite literally, is what he was here."

Image copyright Pocklington Prep School
Image caption Kyle visited the school after Great Britain won the Davis Cup in 2015

But could we have seen Kyle in Australia a few weeks ago - playing in the Ashes?

Russell says that Edmund's passion at school was cricket - he didn't get into tennis until the age of 10.

He remembers the young sports star hitting the ball through a first floor window.

"It's 60 or 70 metres and it had never happened before. He got three wickets for one run and he got 72 not out batting."

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Media captionHow much do you know about Kyle Edmund?

Edmund, who is ranked 49th in the world, plays sixth seed Cilic in Melbourne having beaten the likes of Kevin Anderson (11th seed) and Grigor Dimitrov (third seed).

Although he was born in South Africa, he moved with his family to Yorkshire at the age of three.

He moved to the Bahamas in December 2017, having won about £1.5m in his career so far.

Whatever happens in today's match, he'll add another £500,000 to that.

So does Mr Park have any pre-match tips for the young Brit, Having seen him come so far?

"He's far beyond my advice," he says.

"But just be confident, he's got here now. He's every right to be there as much as Cilic has."

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