While doubles specialist Raven Klaasen was eliminated in the group stages, Kevin Anderson kept his hopes alive in the ATP Tour Finals by progressing to this weekend’s playoffs in London.
Ahead of the semifinals in the season-ending tournament on Saturday, we take a look at Anderson’s spectacular 2018 campaign, his run thus far in the English capital, who he faces in the chase for the title and how he’s making history in the process.
Anderson earned his place in the eight-man draw in London on the back of a breakthrough campaign. He reached his second Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, secured two victories on the ATP Tour and climbed to a career high No 5 in the world rankings.
Though he fell to Swiss legend Roger Federer in the opening round of the Finals tournament this week, Anderson earned straight-set victories over Kei Nishikori of Japan and Dominic Thiem of Austria to finish second in his group behind Federer.
His progress to the penultimate round has already seen Anderson leaving a memorable mark on the prestigious tournament. While multiple SA players have achieved the feat in doubles, he is the first African player to reach the penultimate round of the ATP Finals in the singles division.
Though he has only two matches to negotiate in order to lift the title, Anderson is facing significant battles against global stars. He will meet top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals on Saturday night. Should he progress, he will face either Federer or German player Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final.
“He (Djokovic) is playing amazing tennis and has established himself back at the top of the game, so it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m coming off a few weeks where I’ve been playing better and better, so I’m really looking forward to coming back on Saturday and picking things up again.” – Kevin Anderson.