Johannesburg - Number one South African tennis player Kevin Anderson has recently played such good tennis that he should be winning Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournaments.
Last week, he jumped five spots to number 27 on official ATP rankings.
This followed his run to the quarter-finals of the Montreal Masters, where he was defeated 7-5, 6-4 by eventual champion Alexander Zverev.
Despite his surprise loss this week to Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters, there is no doubt that the 2.03m tall player is in form.
Former South African ATP player and current coach Jeff Coetzee this week spoke about Anderson’s chances of breaking into the top 10, which he first broke into in 2015 before injuries set him back last year.
“Breaking into the top 10 should be his main, huge task,” said Coetzee.
“The main thing should be to stay healthy and to continue to play with confidence. The results will come.”
Anderson recently reached the City Open final, where he lost to world number seven Zverev. It was his first final since winning his third career ATP title in 2015 at Winston-Salem.
The 31-year-old also won at Delray Beach in 2012, and in Florida in 2011.
On whether the US-based star can finally win another title, Coetzee said anything was possible with the way Anderson was playing.
“But the top 20 is very tough as there are so many talented players in that group. Kevin has been in the top 10 and has won tournaments in the past, which is to his advantage.
"He has a better chance of winning another title.”
Anderson has slayed big names since coming back from injury. Some of his recent scalps include top seeds such as Austrian Dominic Thiem and American Jack Sock, but he has to continue with his aggressive game if he wants to win consistently.
On whether there were local players with the potential to follow in Anderson’s footsteps, Coetzee said Lloyd Harris was one to watch.
“Lloyd has a big serve and is big on ground strokes, especially his forehand.”
He has been recognised by the International Tennis Federation.
Earlier this year, Harris was one of 14 players from 12 countries selected as recipients of international player Grand Slam grants financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
The programme provides funding to selected players from around the world as a contribution towards their competition-related costs with the aim of helping them develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam tournaments.