ATP Tour

Tournament demons continue to haunt Anderson

2017-02-17 14:13
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - After a pain-injected year in which he lost the first game in more than half the events in which he competed, including three of the four Grand Slams, top South African singles tennis player Kevin Anderson this week started his 2017 campaign with the tournament demons still apparently haunting him.

Anderson, with an auspicious career-best ranking of 10th - achieved briefly a matter of 15 months ago - but one which has currently slipped to 74th, was beaten 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 by Bosnia's 86th ranked Damir Dzumhur in the first round of the Memphis Open.

And, perhaps, even more disturbing than the fact that not for the first time the gangling, 6ft 8in Anderson lost to a relatively modestly-ranked opponent, was the demoralising turnabout that he again went down after he had the match seemingly all but tied up - this time after winning the first set and leading 3-1 in the second.

A succession of proclaimed knee, shoulder, ankle and hip injuries have doubtlessly affected the 30-year-old Anderson's performances, but more than this right now it is probably an understandable wavering of confidence from his poor results that is blighting the once-feared big-server.

This would be understandable and not surprising as Anderson attempts to bury the spectre of a negative 17-22 win-loss match record and regain his diminishing stature.

Another factor raised that might or might not be relevant here is that Anderson has launched a successful online coaching programme and this might have diverted some attention away from his own game.

But Anderson is clearly hopeful and optimistic about a successful comeback, judging by the comment on Twitter that he is "excited to be back on the tour again - and kicking of my season."

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