US Open

Calls for Anderson to end Davis Cup exile

2017-09-11 11:26
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - After elevating his game to new heights by reaching the US Open final, the time would be appropriate for Kevin Anderson to end a six-year, self-imposed exile from South African Davis Cup action next year.

This is the view of go-ahead Tennis South Africa CEO, Richard Glover, who believes the overwhelming support from the South African public before his final against Rafael Nadal, could tip the scales in the 31-year-old Anderson implementing an overdue return to the country's Davis Cup side.

After 18 months of intermittent injuries, Anderson rebounded in impressive fashion and will this week rise from 32nd to 15th in the rankings in spite of the 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 defeat against the redoubtable world number one.

"We almost succeeded in achieving this objective for the critical Euro-Africa Group Two promotion tie against Denmark that starts later in the week," added Glover, "and the enthusiasm and fervour surrounding his game against Nadal - allied to the close relationship he has with Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska - will hopefully tip the scales for a favourable response in 2018.

"This," said the TSA CEO, "would come at the most appropriate moment, particularly if we manage to secure promotion to Euro-Africa Group One from the tie against Denmark and face what is likely to be much tougher opposition in the higher segment of the competition."

In the game against the dynamic Nadal, who cemented his 16th Grand Slam title after two years of recurring injuries, Anderson suffered an almost inevitable loss against an in-form player rated by many among the five best of all-time.

Yet, to his credit, he was never disgraced and demonstrated his new-found gritty and determined approach to the very end that was visibly appreciated by the capacity crowd.

It was, in a nutshell, a case of Anderson's slim chance of achieving a first-ever Grand Slam title depending on whether his destructive serve could assert the same kind of dominance over Nadal that had accounted for earlier opponents in the New York event.

But from the outset an uncanny combination of speed and anticipation by the Spaniard in receiving Anderson's thunder bolts and a well-nigh flawless exposition of pace and precision in all departments left little doubt as to the final, foreboding outcome.

Nevertheless, there was much to savour for the 6-foot-8 Anderson while becoming the first South African to reach the final of the US Open since Cliff Drysdale achieved the feat 52 years ago - losing to another Spaniard in Manuel Santana.

Anderson also became the first South African to reach a Grand Slam final since Kevin Curren lost to Sweden's Mats Wilander in the 1984 Australian Open.

The following year Current was an American citizen when he was beaten by a burgeoning Boris Becker Becker in the Wimbledon final.

But, perhaps, of most satisfaction, he proved his mettle as a fighter and succeeded in overcoming a series of trying obstacles to display the best tennis of his career - when many believed his best days were behind him.

Now he is in line to possibly regain an esteemed, exclusive top 10 world ranking after slipping to what would have been a demoralising 80th place, while aiming to hold onto it for longer than the single week he achieved in 2015.

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