Cape Town - His seasoned new American coach, Brad Stine, last week proclaimed what has impressed him most about Kevin Anderson was his "focus, intensity and professionalism."
And these attributes were evident in abundance as the 31-year-old Anderson earned his fourth ATP tournament title success in the New York Open on Sunday by beating American Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) and in the process earning a monumental career-best world ranking of No 9.
In a similar fiercely-contested three-set semi-final win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori, Anderson had earlier assured he would at least leap-frog from 11th in the world rankings to 10th.
In October 2015 Anderson became the first South African since Wayne Ferreira in 1992 to join the elite group of men tennis players who have featured among the top 10 in the ATP world rankings, but the prized honour lasted only a week, with the 6-foot-8 inches, Johannesburg-born big server no doubt aiming on his dedication and hard work assuring a longer stay among the leading 10 players this time around.
Ferreira went on to reach a career-best ranking of No 6 while winning 15 ATP titles from 23 finals, with Anderson's four titles coming from 15 finals and halting a frustrating sequence of falling at the final hurdle in pursuit of success.
His excruciating, closely-contested game against Querrey was highlighted by the ferocious serving of both players - 16 aces for Anderson and 11 for the American - with the South African only stamping an indelible advantage in a see-sawing match in the third set tie-breaker, which he won 7-1 after leading 6-0.
But the one-way ending in no way reflected the course of the tense match of slugging stroke play for 2hr 30min - or that three of Anderson's four victories in the tournament were only achieved after turbulent third-set tie-breakers.
As for Anderson's head-to-head record against Querrey, two players of a similar ilk, the record stands at a tantalising eight-all.