Old nemesis awaits Anderson

2013-06-21 20:01
Kevin Anderson (AFP)
Johannesburg - South Africa's top-ranked men's tennis player Kevin Anderson is facing a potential meeting with Tomas Berdych in the third round of this year's Wimbledon tournament, starting Monday.

World number 23-ranked Anderson should have the measure of 138th-ranked Olivier Rochus in his opening round, as well as his potential second-round opponent, who would be either Philipp Petzschner or Poland's Michal Przysiezny.

However his likely third-round opponent would likely be a concern to Anderson.

Berdych -- world number six -- has an 8-0 career advantage over Anderson, having beaten him in all four of their meetings this year without dropping a set.

Berdych has also dashed Anderson's hopes in three previous Grand Slam events, twice at the Australian Open and in last year's French Open, in which he put up his best performance against the powerful Czech before losing in a five-set match that lasted four hours.

This year, Berdych accounted for Anderson in the Australian Open, Indian Welles ATP event, the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, with the gap seemingly widening between the two in each match.

"It's not that there is much difference in the technique of the two," said Anderson's agent, Stuart Duguid following Friday's Wimbledon draw.

"Both rely heavily on booming serves and punishing ground strokes and Kevin is able to hold his own in most of the exchanges.

"But uncannily, on the big points Tomas has been able to forge in front.

"What Kevin needs is a win to break the hoodoo and hopefully it will emerge at Wimbledon."

But it has not been an encouraging Wimbledon preparation for SA's best hope.

Anderson was beaten 7-6 (4), 6-2 by France's Julien Benneteau in the first round of the Aegon International tournament at Eastbourne earlier in the week.

Anderson withdrew from the Queens tournament in London last week without hitting a ball, as a result of a niggling shoulder injury. He was seeded eighth for the event.

In addition, Anderson was surprisingly only seeded 27th when the Wimbledon singles seedings were announced on Wednesday, despite his world ranking of 23.

The announcement seemed to be a deviation from the tournament's usual procedure of basing seedings on world rankings.

Top South African women's player Chani Scheepers, meanwhile, passed a late fitness test and like Anderson in the men's singles, will be the country's sole representative in the women's singles.

But her problems could start from the very beginning, with a first round match against Italian 11th seed, Roberta Vinci.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis

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