Cape Town - Kevin Anderson says a few adjustments in his fitness regime helped him maintain a good physical state in his quarter-final win over Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
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The South African eighth seed staged a remarkable comeback to defeat the top seed and defending champion 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in a match that lasted four hours and 14 minutes.
Heading into Wednesday’s match, Anderson spent more than four hours longer on court than Federer.
Anderson’s four victories took 10 hours and 11 minutes, while Federer required only six hours and eight minutes to sail into the quarter-finals.
But Anderson did not appear to be struggling physically on Wednesday, even when the match went deep into a fifth set.
“I think you always sort of are learning as you go along. Even in the French, after my fourth-round match, it was a long match, I had sort of an issue that's plagued me before. We made a few adjustments this week. It's been working well. I have a great team with me. Obviously spend a lot of time with my physio,” Anderson said at his post-match press conference.
“A lot of the work happened obviously before the tournament. I think one of the keys, especially in these Grand Slams, because they're two weeks in length, you have to try and keep up with some of your off-court maintenance, especially I think the strength work.”
Anderson added that he’s trained a little differently at this year’s Wimbledon.
“I think sometimes in the past I've done a lot going into the tournament. During the tournament, you know, you sort of back off a little bit. I've actually been a little bit more aggressive this tournament in terms of some of the strength I've done on the off days, which I think has been beneficial,” he said.
“I think just the more experience you get, just managing these sort of matches, managing your body better. There's no, like, single key you can identify. I think really a whole host of things that come into play.”
Anderson will next play America’s John Isner, who also reached his first Wimbledon semi-final when he defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-3.
It will be a clash of giants, with Anderson (6ft 8in) slightly shorter than the 6ft 10in Isner.
“John I think has got arguably one of the best serves of all time on the tour. Especially in the last few months what's really impressive is just his first-serve percentage as well, never mind how accurate and big the serve is. But he's very consistent with the two. Definitely the first challenge is the serve,” Anderson said of Isner.
Isner leads their head-to-head encounters 8-3 on the ATP World Tour.
“I feel like he (Isner) relies a lot on confidence. Especially after his win in Miami, sort of just seeing him around, watching him play matches on the practice court, I think he has a lot of confidence right now which allows him to be a bit more free from the baseline, from the back,” Anderson continued.
"In the matches I've played him, obviously taking care of your serve is the first priority. It's a match that's often won on just a couple points here and there. I feel confident in sort of baseline exchanges I'd say quite a lot with John. At the same time, because he's such a big player, has so much firepower, you just can't be too patient. You have to still be aggressive, put him on the back foot.”