ATP Tour

Kevin Anderson: A chance to make history in Miami

2018-03-29 11:08
Kevin Anderson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African tennis ace Kevin Anderson is hoping it will be 10th time lucky when he takes to the Miami hard courts on Thursday (21:00 SA time).

Anderson, the current world No 8, faces Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open where he’ll be looking to reach the last-four of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.

Anderson, remarkably, has lost all nine of his quarter-finals at Masters 1000 level - the ATP events rated just below the Grand Slams.

He came oh-so-close at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this month, where he squandered a 4-2 final-set advantage before losing to Croatia’s Borna Coric.

But the South African No 1 will be confident he can break his losing run in quarter-finals at this level.

He takes a 4-0 head-to-head advantage into his clash against Carreno Busta, the current world No 19.

Anderson defeated Carreno Busta in a final set tie-breaker in their most recent meeting earlier this month in Indian Wells and the South African also won in four sets when they clashed in the US Open semi-finals last year.

Anderson went on to lose to Spanish great Rafael Nadal in his first Grand Slam final, but his efforts at Flushing Meadows have provided the springboard for his surge up the ATP rankings.

Anderson’s current ranking of No 8 is his highest ever and a victory on Thursday would see him build on a solid start to 2018 which includes one ATP title (New York Open) and two runner-up efforts (Acapulco and Pune).

With former champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic suffering early exits in Miami - and several stars like Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka out injured - the draw is again wide open.

Should the sixth-seeded Anderson make history and progress to the Miami semis, a duel with either Coric or fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev lies in wait.

The other semi-final will be contested between fifth-seed Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Federer to win the Indian Wells title, and 14th seed John Isner.

This is an opportunity Anderson should grab hold of.

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