Nine of the top 10 players in the world have entered the event. After reaching his goal for the year, by making the world’s top 20 singles player, Anderson has tumbled back down the rankings, following early losses in all four of his tournaments, with three first-round defeats and a second round exit in the US Open.
Anderson’s dip in consistency, with his world ranking having already slipped to 21st, reached a particular low this week, when he was beaten 6-4 7-6 (2) by 81st-ranked Slovakian Lucas Lacko, coupled with a first-round doubles defeat adding to his misery.
Anderson’s woes started in the first round of the Canadian Open with a 7-6 (0) 6-4 loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov, before losing 6-4 6-4 to Tommy Haas in the first round of the Cincinnati Open. Then, after beating 51st-ranked German Daniel Brands 7-5 4-6 6-2 6-3 in the first round of the US Open, Anderson suffered a crushing defeat in the second round against Marcos Baghdatis.
He took a month off from competitive play for most of September with a niggling wrist complaint, before returning to train with his New Zealand coach HD Jones, only to return to tournament action and suffer another first-round loss against Lacko.
“The wrist problem has certainly been a factor in Kevin’s slump,” said his agent Stuart Duguid. “And coming back after a four-week absence was not easy either. “The poor results should also not be taken out of context, while forgetting the impressive performances during much of the year that earned him the 19th ranking.
“Hopefully, he will be back in the right groove in the big Masters tournament in Shanghai next week.”
But Anderson’s current ranking will keep him out of the top 16 seeds and a lot might depend on what kind of draw he receives, with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Roger Federer all competing.