Cape Town - Sport24's Dave Marshall caught up with South Africa's No 1 Kevin Anderson following his second round Wimbledon win over Turkey's Marcel Ilhan.
Dave Marshall – Tough game! Did Ilhan take
you by surprise by how well he played from the get go?
Kevin Anderson – Yeah I mean
obviously my goal, especially on the grass, is to try and dictate as much as
possible. I felt I was taking care of my serve games. I had maybe a couple of
looks early on in the first set but I really hadn’t found my groove yet. Credit
to him as he was definitely serving well, he strikes the ball very well from
the baseline, his forehand’s pretty flat, uses the slice backhand. That sort of
style definitely suits the grass. I knew I was in for a tough match but I
wouldn’t have liked to be in the position I was in. Fortunately I was able to
get through that second set and obviously that was a big momentum swing.
DM – Massive. You were 6-3 down
in the second set tie breaker and 1 point away from being 2 sets to
love down. You dug deep and played some great tennis under pressure. It was
obviously a big moment in the match.
KA – Yeah it was.
At 6-3 I didn’t have too many thoughts. I was a little bit disappointed as I
had taken care of my serve games really well in the first set and second
sets and in both breakers hit a bunch of double faults. I’ve been playing good
tie breaks and I lost the rhythm there a little bit and I was a little
frustrated and wasn’t thinking too much ahead. I managed to get through the
next 2 points and I’m back in the tie breaker. I got a little lucky at 6-5
having that slip and fortunately Ilhan’s return went long and that’s how tennis
goes. A few points later I’m suddenly a set all as opposed to being 2 sets to
love down. That gave me lot of momentum.
DM – When you won the second
set you let out a massive roar. It is unusual for you to be so expressive and
winning the set obviously meant a great deal.
KA – Yeah it did. I felt
just in the first 2 sets I was doing a good job of keeping calm and maybe a
little bit too calm. I think I needed to get a bit more into the match and that
was obviously a great opportunity to do so. I mean after being down and being a
bit frustrated with things and not playing the perfect breaker but getting
through it and getting that set was big for me and that allowed me to get more
emotion involved in the match.
DM – You loosened up after that
and appeared to play more freely.
KA – Yeah I did. I
was able to impose myself a little bit more which I was trying to do from the
beginning. I think return wise I could have still done a better job overall but
I took care of my serve game and definitely felt I played better in those last
DM - Is there any chance you can talk me
through your daily routine at Wimbledon so your South African fans can get an
understanding of what you go through and how you prepare?
KA – Yeah sure. In
the days leading up to the tournament there isn’t too much done. The Saturday
and Sunday before the tournament I think I was out here for maybe an hour on
the court both days, I try to a little bit of physical core work to keep the
body activated, some treatment, actually quite a bit of treatment. It’s more
about keeping the body fresh. On match day itself, I try to keep my routine
pretty standard. It always remains the same. For example, today before my game I
did some warming up with the foam roller, had a bit of treatment from my
physiotherapist, I had a good warm up at around midday. Then I took a shower
and got my racquets ready, had something to eat (usually rice, vegies and maybe
some protein if I have some time), then I wait, it’s a waiting game!
Fortunately the wait wasn’t too long as both matches before me today were won
in straight sets. I usually do 10-15 minutes of physical activation and then
its game time. After the match I get something to eat, shower, and more
treatment. I was in the ice bath today and then I have press commitments for
usually an hour after my game.
DM – Realistically how far do
you think you can go in the tournament?
KA – I’ve put
myself in good positions before. I felt like I had a great week at Queen's. I
really believe I have the game to go all the way. It’s very difficult as I will
come up against very tough competitors but I definitely feel I have that chance
to take each match at a time and commit to the kind of tennis I want to and
need to be playing. I can’t do more than that. I am excited about each game I
DM – Do you study the draw in
KA – No I don’t. I
generally I am someone who doesn’t look at the draw. I just take it one match
at a time. I know my next round opponent (Argentina's Leonardo Mayer) and that is basically about it.
DM – My editor wanted to me ask
you about your position playing Davis Cup for SA?
KA – It has been a
tricky issue from the start. Some people agree with it. My previous strategy
was to analyse my availability tie by tie but it hasn’t worked out. Just
recently I have made the decision to remove myself from the scene and therefore
I am unavailable until further notice. There has been a great deal of press
surrounding this issue and I feel there a lot more positives people can be
focusing on rather than my Davis Cup participation. I want to play but I am not
a big fan of the Davis Cup structure itself. It’s a great competition with a
lot of history but I feel it is becoming outdated and it puts an amount of
strain on the players each year. Hats off to the guys who commit to the
competition and I get questions as to why others are able to do it but my
position is very tight.