After yesterday’s battling five-setter in the pressure-cooker heat of Melbourne where the big-serving South African had to come back from two sets down to beat unseeded Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, Anderson faces the prospect of walking into a wall in the fourth round.
For what must seem the umpteenth time for the lanky South African, he bumps heads with his neme-sis Tomas Berdych. The seventh-seeded Czech, who had an easier passage than Anderson in beating Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, has never lost to the South African in a Grand Slam, with victories in the Australian Open over the past two years, straight set wins in last year’s Wimbledon championship and winning a five-setter on the clinging Roland Garros clay at the 2012 French Open.
That in itself is ironic, for the 27-year-old South African is more a serve-and-volley exponent than a born claycourter. But today, on the hard courts of scorching Melbourne, Anderson again goes out trying to beard Berdych – and doubtless hoping this time,the planets are favourably aligned in his court.