Kevin Anderson enjoyed a career breakthrough on Friday, progressing to the semifinals of a Masters tournament for the first time, though fellow South African Raven Klaasen was eliminated in the quarter-finals at the Madrid Open in Spain.
Anderson was made to work hard against Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic, who put up a fight in their last-eight encounter.
The South African held his nerve, however, to secure a 7-6 3-6 6-3 triumph.
He was set to face fifth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, who stunned world No 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain with a 7-5 6-3 victory in the quarter-finals, for a place in the final.
“I really wanted to break through and be in the semifinals. It was a goal that I set myself,” Anderson said.
“It doesn’t mean that I’m done, but it definitely feels good. It was a mini goal accomplished for me today.”
Klaasen and regular playing partner Michael Venus of New Zealand got off to a good start in their doubles quarter-final, taking the first set against Croatian Nikola Mektic and Serbian Alexander Peya.
They lost control in the second set and were eliminated, however, with Mektic and Peya securing a 6-7 6-3 win.
Mektic and Peya had also been responsible for eliminating Anderson and Belarusian partner Max Mirnyi with a 6-4 3-6 victory in the opening round.