Dutch coach hails Anderson
Potchefstroom - Netherlands coach Jan Siemerink said South African player Kevin Anderson was the difference between the two teams after his side lost their Euro-Africa Group One Davis Cup tie 3-1 to the hosts in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
"I think Anderson was the difference between the two sides," said Siemerink.
"His consistent focus and play throughout matches was huge. He won the three tough matches he played in."
Anderson beat Thomas Schoorel on the opening day in four sets. On Saturday Anderson and Rik de Voest were victorious over Robin Haase and Jesse Huta Galung in the doubles and, on Sunday, Anderson clinched the tie beating Netherlands' No 1 player Haase in the reverse singles.
After an absence of over two years, Anderson's return to the South African team was vital.
"These guys play well when they play for South Africa, but Kevin is crucial for us," said South African captain John-Laffnie de Jager.
"We're a totally different team when he is playing, and hopefully he continues to play Davis Cup.
"I personally think it's great for him, he's a big name in South African sport right now.
De Jager said South African tennis could do with a boost from a player of Anderson's quality.
"Tennis (in South Africa) needs an icon, the kids need someone they can look up to and we haven't had that for a few years.
"He's a world class player and I won't be surprised that, by the end of the year, he's ranked in the top 20 in the world," said De Jager.
Anderson won the first set against Haase but lost the second and was down a break in the third set when he turned the match around.
"Kevin was playing really well and was up a break in the second set. He was playing aggressive tennis and then suddenly he started missing," said De Jager.
"I counted - he made twelve unforced errors on his forehand and wasn't going for it - it was kind of like he was guiding the ball.
"I told him (Kevin) that he's not going for it and to do the things that make him a great tennis player," explained De Jager.
Anderson said he had lost his way during the second set of the match.
"For the second set, I kind of forgot what I had been working on the last year and a half and I wasn't coming forward as much," Anderson admitted.
"It continued in the third when I was down two love but then I held to get a game back.
"From that point, I tried to play the tennis I want to play and that I've been working on. I was more aggressive and coming forward more."
Anderson was patriotic in his explanation of his good play.
"I relish the opportunity to play for my country and this is what I play tennis for - to be in positions like this.
"My goal is to finish the end of the year in the top 20 (in the ATP singles rankings), and also getting into the world group in Davis Cup," he said.
South Africa now advance to the world group play-offs, to be held from September 16 to 18. Their opponents and the venue will be decided in a draw which takes place on Wednesday.