London - South Africa's Kevin Anderson has revealed that practice sessions at the home of golf legend Jack Nicklaus inspired his run to the Queen's Club final.
Anderson reached the final of the Wimbledon warm-up event in west London thanks to a 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 victory over French seventh seed Gilles Simon on Saturday.
The world number 17 battered Simon into submission with 34 aces, taking his tally for the tournament to 96.
Anderson's ace barrage comes after he honed his grass-court game in the unusual surroundings of Nicklaus's house in Florida.
Although Anderson is South African, he is based in Delray Beach, Florida and when one of his coaches heard Nicklaus had three grass-courts he managed to persuade the 18-time major winner to let the 29-year-old come over for several practice sessions.
"I was actually very lucky. I was able to get up to Jack Nicklaus' house. He's got three courts up in Jupiter. It's only 30 minutes away from me," Anderson said.
"That was pretty special. He was out there watching the practises in the beginning, so I was pretty lucky with that.
"My coach back home, Jay Bosworth, he's been living there for ages, and he made some calls. And, you know, the tennis community is always so small. When somebody has three grass courts, most people know about it.
"Fortunately Jack was kind enough to let us hit there. I think he's let other pros come out before.
"I know Ivan Lendl did it will way back with Jay, as well. It was a nice few days up there."
Given the rare opportunity to spend some time with a legend, Anderson admitted he tried to pick the brains of the man who amassed 73 PGA Tour titles in his glittering career.
"Obviously he's one of the greats of the golf game. I try to just listen to what he has to say," he added.
"I was able to chat with him a little bit. I mean, we were in the middle of the practice. I think he didn't want to interrupt too much.
"But I think there are just so many similarities, especially from the mental side of things."
Anderson would have loved to have a hit with Nicklaus on the tennis court, but his 75-year-old host was just happy to watch, which, given the South African's huge serve, was probably a wise move.
"I thought he was going to get out there. Each time we chatted a little bit, but he didn't bring out the racquet," Anderson said.
"I think I might have had to if I was going to be invited back!"