ATP Tour

Anderson breaks 1 000-ace barrier

2015-10-23 20:09
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Vienna - Kevin Anderson went down to defeat in the Austria Open quarter-finals on Friday but not before serving his way through the 1 000 ace barrier for the season.

The second seeded South African hit 23 aces but still lost 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to Steve Johnson of the United States in a gruelling two and three-quarter hour duel.

Anderson now has 1 003 aces in 2015, joining Ivo Karlovic (1 321) and John Isner (1 162) in the 1 000-plus aces club.

The result did nothing to help the South African's outside chances of snatching one of the two remaining places in the eight-man field for the World Tour Finals in London next month.

Anderson, 29, entered Friday's match in provisional 11th place, but standing more than 1,100 computer points shy of a theoretical spot in the field.

Vienna top seed David Ferrer, who was playing a quarter-final against Italy's Fabio Fognini later in the day, occupies eighth place at the moment.

He trails seventh-placed Japan's Kei Nishikori who is currently sidelined with a recurring shoulder injury.

Johnson, ranked 47 in the world, will be competing in his third semi-final of the season where he will face Latvia's Ernests Gulbis who knocked out seventh seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5).

"Tennis is unpredictable, anything can happen," said Johnson after winning in front of an all-time record crowd for the Stadthalle of 9 100.

"Ernests was once a top 10 player and he's had a great career. We'll have to see what happens.

"I played well today and I'm really glad to go through. I hope I'm able to stick around in Vienna a few more days."

Gulbis, who now stands outside the world top 100 after riding a career ranking roller-coaster, has rededicated himself to training after reuniting with Vienna-based coach Gunther Bresnik.

Gulbis will be playing his first semi-final in more than a year after downing Karlovic, who lost despite 19 aces and 38 winners in a match without a break of serve.

The Latvian son of a millionaire businessman said that after wrist and shoulder problems this season: "I've been playing well for the last few months.

"But my wrist problem meant that I had to pull out of the US Open and two Asian tournaments. I came to Vienna to train and started slowly.

"I've been getting better with each match and played well today. My place is inside the top 100 -- not outside of it.

"I beat two top 20 players here (John Isner and Karlovic) so things are improving for me."

Results on the fifth day of the Austria Open on Friday (x denotes seeded player):


Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO x7) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5)

Steve Johnson (USA) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x2) 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

David Ferrer (ESP x1) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x8) 6-4, 6-2

Read more on:    atp tour  |  austria open  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis

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