Kevin Anderson has found a new home at the US Open, blasting into the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.
The 6’8″ South African is flying under the radar as he secured his place in the last eight with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 victory over Paolo Lorenzi on Sunday. Anderson needed two hours and 57 minutes to dispatch the Italian veteran, attacking early and often from the baseline behind 54 winners, including 18 aces.
Anderson is surging towards a Top 20 return in the Emirates ATP Rankings after notching a trio of straight-set wins to open the tournament and a rather straightforward victory over Lorenzi. He extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head edge over the World No. 40 to 4-0, having most recently triumphed on the clay of Geneva earlier this year.
“It feels great,” said Anderson. “Obviously I think getting here in this position a couple years ago, it was a very valuable experience in today’s match. Obviously at this stage of tournaments, it means a lot. I think just being at that stage previously made me settle a little bit.
“As the match went on, it was such a close match, towards the end all my focus was just getting through the match. I didn’t really even think of the stage of the tournament. Obviously it feels great right now, matching my best result here. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis. My body’s healthy. It was a pretty tough loss at the beginning of this year with a few injuries.
“Right now, since actually the whole year, obviously there are a few aches and pains, but every tennis player has that. I’m glad to accept that. It’s the injuries where you’re unable to practise and play the way that you want to. There’s a few matches to go. I’m pretty excited about that.”
One break was all that was needed to capture both the first and second sets on Louis Armstrong Stadium. A forehand winner secured the two-set lead for the South African, but that very stroke let him down in the third set tie-break, as an unforced error pushed wide gave new life to Lorenzi. Anderson would stay the course in the fourth set, despite falling down a break at 3-2. He broke right back and reeled off four of the last five games to prevail after just under three hours.
Anderson is playing arguably the best tennis of his career in recent months, having reached the final in Washington and quarter-finals in Montreal on the heels of a Round of 16 finish at Wimbledon. It was at the All England Club that the 31 year old succumbed to Sam Querrey in five sets and a rematch will be in the cards at Flushing Meadows after Querrey defeated Mischa Zverev in Sunday’s night session.
“I thought I got off serving very well in the first two sets,” Anderson added. “For the most part even in the third and fourth set, I was still serving well. For me, the biggest thing was the temperature dropped a lot in the third set. It felt much cooler. The balls became much softer and slower. I didn’t feel as I was getting as much reward on the court. I felt like he had a little bit more time to get some of the returns back in play. Definitely the amount of free points I felt on the serve sort of dropped a little bit. I think it felt like to me that was mainly due to the temperature.”