US Open

Patience pays off as Anderson in no mood to stop

2017-09-06 22:30
Kevin Anderson (AP)

New York - Kevin Anderson has reached a first Grand Slam semi-final at the 34th attempt and insists that having waited so long for his breakthrough, he is no mood to stop now.

READ: Querrey praises 'aggressive' Anderson

WATCH: Kevin Anderson's match point moment

As he digested congratulatory texts from compatriots such as Wayne Ferreira, the last South African man to make the semi-final of a major in Australia in 2003, and golf superstar Ernie Els, a four-time major winner, the 31-year-old Anderson has bigger targets.

Victory on Friday over Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, another man in unknown territory in a maiden semi-final at a Slam, will make Anderson the first South African in a final at the majors in almost 35 years.

"It's a fantastic feeling, but at the same time I feel like I'm still in this tournament. I feel like I'm going to have another opportunity to go one step further," said the Florida-based Johannesburg native.

Anderson, the 28th seed, made the semi-final by downing 17th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (9/11), 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) in a quarter-final that finished just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

It was only his second quarter-final at the Slams, having reached the same stage in New York in 2015, defeating Andy Murray in the process.

Anderson, a 6ft 8in (2.03m) giant, has based his success on a formidable service game.

In five rounds so far, he has fired 92 aces and boasts the third fastest serve of the tournament at 137mph (220.4 km/h).

In 87 service games, he has been broken just three times.

It's all a far cry from the start of 2017, when a hip injury forced him to skip the Australian Open and his ranking slipped to 87, his lowest in seven years.

But he has enjoyed an impressive summer hard court season in North America, making the final in Washington and the last-eight in Montreal.

Anderson has also capitalized on a draw which is missing 2012 winner Murray, two-time champion Novak Djokokic and the 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, all absent through injury.

Furthermore, Grand Slam heavyweights Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are in the other half of the draw.

"We have become accustomed over a decade to seeing the same guys being there and they had such unbelievable consistency," he said.

"So obviously it gives us a bit of a chance to go deep into the tournament."

Anderson has defeated Carreno Busta, the 12th seed, on both occasions they've met and in straight sets, the most recent coming in Montreal last month.

"That was a tough match, really windy that day. Both of us struggled for rhythm," said Anderson.

"This is new ground for both of us. There will be adjustments we both have to make."

Should Anderson prevail, he will be the first South African man in a Slam final since Kevin Curren finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 1985.

Curren was playing under the American flag at the All England Club but was still representing South Africa when he was the finalist in Australia in 1984.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  us open  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis


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