Kevin Anderson squeezes into US Open warm-up as Wildcard

Kevin Anderson. Image courtesy of Facebook

Initially deciding to take time off tournament play before next week’s United States Open, top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson has now squeezed into the Winston-Salem ATP tournament as a wild card.

And, delighted tournament officials have made him the second seed for the North Carolina tournament behind two-time champion John Isner of America.

Anderson’s turnaround was seemingly brought about by the first round defeat he suffered against the self-same Isner in last week’s Cincinnati Open, and the need for tournament preparation before the big grand slam event at Flushing Meadows in New York next week.

It also raises the prospect of a possible return encounter between Anderson and Isner should they reach the Winston-Salem Final.

University contemporaries in the United States, matches between the 2.08m Isner and the 2.03m Anderson have evolved into a distinctive rivalry and aroused special attention as a result of the two players’ exceptional height and booming serves.

Anderson would also be striving to secure ranking points at Winston-Salem after his world position dropped from a career-high 17th to 20th this week.

But paramount, no doubt, will be the objective to fine-tune his game for Flushing Meadows.

Anderson is currently featured in a distinguished group of six players with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who have progressed to the last 16 round of the previous three 2014 grand slam tournaments.

But, unlike the other five, Anderson has never gone beyond the fourth round in grand slams, reaching the last 16 on five occasions, but never making it to the quarter-final stage.

He begins his campaign at Winston-Salem against what would appear moderate opposition with a game against either 90th-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino or 120th-ranked Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.


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