New York - Top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson is
faced with a tough, but inviting challenge in this week's R30-million
Cincinnati Masters tournament - the last major event before the United
Looking to make amends for a deflating first-round
defeat in the Canadian Open against the Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov
earlier in the week, the world's 21st-ranked Anderson could slip from
the firing pan into the fire with a first round draw in Cincinnati
pitting him against the revitilised, 35-year-old 11th seeded Tommy Haas.
An additional motivation for Anderson, however, is that
if he beats Haas and goes on to make it to the third round, he could
satisfy a long-standing ambition to play legendary, 17 grand slam winner
Roger Federer for the first time.
In a curious quirk of fate, Anderson has not played
against Federer even once since joining the ATP professional circuit in
And this would not be a bad time to finally face
Federer either, with the iconic legend's form wavering while his ranking
has slipped to fifth in the world, with recent defeats against players
rated 50th and 115th suggesting it could deteriorate even further for
the Cincinnati defending champion.
Anderson would need to beat Haas and either Marcel
Granollers or Lukas Rosol in the second round before thinking of a
Federer match-up - with the Swiss maestro having to beat tough
opposition in Mardy Fish or Philipp Kohlschreiber as well in the second
In the meantime, the South African Davis Cup team for
the relegation-saving Euro-Africa Group One tie against Slovenia next
month is due to be announced on Wednesday without the controversially
unavailable Anderson and the injured Izak van der Merwe leaving team
captain John-Laffnie de Jager with some acute selection headaches.