Good week for Kevin Anderson despite semi loss


South African No 1 and current World No 65 Kevin Anderson has fought back from injury to reach his first semi-final of 2017 in the Estoril Open.
But on Saturday, marathon man Anderson – who racked up lots of hours on court this week in Portugal – had the fatigue catch up with him and it showed as he failed to secure a spot in the final and bowed to Gilles Müller 7-5 6-4.
It bodes well for an injury-free clay season, though, with Roland Garros around the corner.
After two close encounters this week, the 1.96m South African giant has regained some of his form after he was laid low by multiple injuries for most of the 2016 season.
It was probably Anderson’s most challenging year, as he finished with a losing record of 21-17, and he ended it with another injury to his right hip.
“It was tough for quite some time. I was a bit unsure of the course of treatment that I needed or if I needed to actually have surgery or not. Fortunately, I was able to avoid surgery and rehab just conservatively,” Anderson told the ATP website in February.
However, it has taken him more time to find his feet as a former top-10 player.
This week, he has shown a glimmer of his potential, despite his extensive time away from competition.
After a comfortable first-round win against a qualifier, Anderson went on to beat Portuguese Joao Domingues 5-7 6-3 7-5 despite a riotous local crowd being against him.
In the quarter-final, Anderson proceeded to show blistering pace and accuracy against second seed and defending champion Richard Gasquet.
Anderson came from behind and showed some gutsy play, as he implemented a serve-and-volley tactic in the third set tie-breaker to seal the 6-2 3-6 7-6(4) victory over the Frenchman to reach the semi-finals.
“At the end, it was just more of a dog-fight than anything else… When you are away for competition for a while and training, it is impossible to recreate these conditions.
“I think there is a lot of value in a close match and coming away with a win,” said Anderson in his post-match interview.
Source: Independent Media
Author: Eden D’Oliveira
Photo: @KAndersonATP on Twitter