Cape Town - South Africa’s Kevin Anderson has a realistic shot at making the semi-finals of the US Open.
The South African No 1 on Monday (US time) made headlines when he stunned British third seed Andy Murray 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/0) to reach his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.
The victory was extra sweet for Anderson who had stumbled at the fourth round stage at a major championship no fewer than seven times previously.
Anderson, 29, will now face French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals after the Swiss reached the last eight with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over American Donald Young.
Many may feel that’s where dream will end for Anderson, but the South African will back his chances against a man he boasts a 4-3 winning head-to-head record against.
Wawrinka had won the pair’s first three meetings, but the South African has bossed their last four encounters, the most recent being a 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (13/11) win at the Queen’s Club grasscourt event in London in June this year.
Before that, Anderson had also notched wins over Wawrinka at the indoor Masters 1000 event in Paris (2014), as well as last year’s Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Indian Wells.
As many tennis gurus would tell, tennis is all about match-ups and there is clearly something about Anderson’s game that bothers Wawrinka.
Not only does the 2.03m South African possess a powerful serve, but he has more than capable forehand and backhand wings, and showed it when he blasted 81 winners past Murray.
Making the final of the US Open would appear to be a long shot for Anderson though, as a win over Wawrinka would in all likelihood see him take on 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
Federer is red-hot favourite to beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in their quarter-final clash, before a possible match-up with Anderson.
Unfortunately Anderson does not match up well against Federer, with the Swiss maestro winning all four of their previous encounters on the ATP World Tour.
In fact, Anderson has yet to take a set off Federer and was annihilated 6-1, 6-1 by the Swiss in their most recent meeting in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
Should Anderson make the semi-finals, he will be the first South African man to make that stage of a major since Wayne Ferreira achieved the feat at the 2003 Australian Open.