He may have gone down in straight sets in his maiden Grand Slam semi-final but Kyle Edmund has a bright future in the game according to his Australian Open conqueror.
Marin Cilic prevailed 6-2 7-6(4) 6-2 in the Rod Laver Arena with Edmund appearing to be struggling with his movement in the final set following a medical timeout at the end of the first.
Edmund, who would have become British number one with victory in Melbourne, will shoot up the rankings following his run to the final four in Australia.
And Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014 and reached the Wimbledon final last summer, is expecting the 23-year-old Brit to be a regular opponent in years to come.
“He is playing great tennis and in the last couple of years he’s improved a lot,” said the Croat.
“He’s started great this year. He had an extremely tough run to the semis here, a couple of five setters and a couple of four setters.
“They definitely left some scars on his body and I can feel that too.
“He’s definitely got a bright future and we’re going to be seeing him a lot more.”
Cilic raced through the first set 6-2, with Edmund leaving the court at its conclusion for three-minute medical timeout.
And it appeared to work as the Brit got a foothold in the second set, serving better and making the most of his destructive forehand to take it to a tiebreak.
But Cilic just had too much and won the breaker 7-4 to establish a two-set lead that Edmund could not recover from.
The Brit began to struggle with his movement in the final set and Cilic twice broke Edmund to take it 6-2 and seal his place in the final.
"I noticed in the third game in the third set, he let a couple of balls go," added the victor.
"I was seeing that his movement was restricted so I was trying to move the ball around."
Edmund is now expected to move into the world’s top 30 when the new rankings are announced on Monday, with his next task being to help Great Britain into the second round of the Davis Cup when they take on Spain, in Marbella, next weekend.