Anderson on course for title

2011-02-03 18:22

Johannesburg - Fourth-seeded home favourite Kevin Anderson and sixth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France avoided the curse of the seeded players at the SA Tennis Open to reach the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Anderson stayed on course for a first career ATP title, with a straight-sets win over Dudi Sela.

He was followed into the last eight by Mannarino, the only other seeded player left in the tournament, after the Frenchman's 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 win over Denis Gremelmayr of Germany.

Mannarino and Gremelmayr both struggled in their night match at Montecasino, sharing 109 unforced errors before the 67th-ranked Mannarino finished strongest, and won with an ace on his second match point.

Mannarino is also hunting a first ATP title.

South African No. 1 Anderson needed just over an hour for his 6-2, 6-4 win. He hit 13 aces to just one from the Israeli, in a clinical performance, for his first win in three meetings with Sela.

"It definitely felt pretty good out there," Anderson said. "I wasn't on edge, I felt very comfortable. I didn't give him any chances on my service games."

Anderson gave up just one break and converted four out of his five break points to stroll through. He is the man to beat after a parade of seeded players, including defending champion Feliciano Lopez of Spain, crashed out in the opening round of the high-altitude Johannesburg tournament.

"It's tough to pick the winners in the altitude," he said. "It's tricky, and definitely can come down to a few points. But I'm looking forward to the rest of the tournament, I'm going to go out and enjoy it."

Anderson will meet unseeded Slovak Karol Beck, who eventually prevailed 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 in a topsy-turvy match with Japan's Go Soeda. It will be the first ATP quarterfinal since 2005 for the No. 100-ranked Beck.

Frank Dancevic, who dumped out Lopez, is playing South African wild card Fritz Wolmarans in Thursday's late match, with the winner to meet Mannarino in the quarters.

Results from the fourth day of the ATP South African Open (x denotes seeding):

Karol Beck (SVK) bt Go Soeda (JPN) 3-6, 7-5, 6-0

Kevin Anderson (RSA x4) bt Dudi Sela (ISR) 6-2, 6-4

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x6) bt Denis Gremelmayr (GER) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4