After missing all the action since Wimbledon, Kevin Anderson has dropped out from the top-100 on Monday for the first time since April 2010! The South African had played on a very high level in the last couple of years to reach Major finals and secure a spot at the ATP Finals before a right knee injury plagued his 2019 season, competing at five tournaments and embracing 15 matches overall.
Back in September, Kevin became a father and underwent knee surgery, starting all over and working hard in the offseason to make the best possible start of 2020. In his first match of the year at the ATP Cup, Kevin gave his everything in a tight 7-6, 7-6 loss to world no.
2 Novak Djokovic, showing high-quality tennis and gathering boost ahead of the clash with Cristian Garin that he won 6-0, 6-3 for the first success since Wimbledon last July. Serving at 74%, Anderson dropped seven points behind the initial shot, facing no break points and mounting the pressure on the young Chilean all the time.
Struggling on both the first and second serve, Garin had to play against 12 break chances, suffering five breaks to propel the South African over the finish line in 74 minutes. Confident about his abilities, Kevin feels his best tennis is yet to come, eager to fight for the big titles again and hoping to stay on the Tour enough for his daughter to go and watch his matches.
"It felt great to be on the court; it is always nice to grab a win after such a long break. I played a really good match against Novak, taking a lot of positive vibes from that high-level performance. I worked hard to get back, trying to get healthy and improve my game; I feel like a lot of things have been working on and my body is feeling fantastic, which makes me pleased.
A lot had happened while I was away from the court, my wife gave birth to our first child and that was a big moment. Also, I spent a lot of time rehabbing, which is challenging, especially when you are not making day-to-day progress, because there are always some small setbacks.
To be back is some justification for a lot of time spent away; now I'm motivated to chase even bigger results than in the past, feeling my best tennis is yet to come. My goal is to stay and play for a couple of more years so my daughter could come and watch me on the court."