US Open

Kriek-y, Anderson NOT the first SA player in US Open semis

2017-09-07 09:11
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - The record books have been consulted and it appears, strictly speaking, Kevin Anderson is NOT the first South African to have reached the US Open semi-finals after all...

Following his quarter-final victory over American Sam Querrey, it was widely reported - both courtside and in the media - that Anderson's final four berth was a first for South Africa since tennis' Open era began in 1968.

Prior to that, South African-born Cliff Drysdale had made the final of the 1965 US National Championships - as the US Open was then called.

However, upon delving into the archives it was discovered that Johan Kriek reached the US Open semi-finals in 1980 - while the Pongola-born two-time Grand Slam winner was still a South African.

Kriek would lose that semi-final 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 to Swedish star Bjorn Borg.

The following year Kriek would go on to win his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open - as a South African - before becoming a naturalised American in August of 1982.

Kriek would defend his Australian Open in 1982 when the tournament, now played in January every year, took place in November/December.

The fact Anderson is following in Kriek's footsteps rather than blazing his own way into the record books in no way detracts from what has been a stellar performance to date at Flushing Meadows by South Africa's undisputed No 1 tennis player.

Anderson will face Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday for a place in this year's US Open final.

Read more on:    us open  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis


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