ATP Finals Preview - Kevin Anderson

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ATP Finals Preview - Kevin Anderson

After a prominent career at the University of Illinois, Kevin Anderson was ready to make a name for himself on the ATP Tour, entering the Top 100 just a week before the 22nd birthday in 2008 and making the first big steps in 2010 when he made a great progress to finish just outside the Top 60. Kevin claimed the first ATP title at home in Johannesburg in 2011 and he found himself in the Top 30 after respectable 42 wins on the Tour.

The South African had a few balanced seasons to confirm his place as a regular Top 30 or 40 player, improving the elements in his game on regular basis to crack the Top 10 in 2015 after 46 triumphs that year. His progress was halted in 2016 and 2017 after numerous injuries that include left knee, right shoulder, groin, hip and left thigh, together with an ankle surgery in March 2016.

Kevin barely stayed inside the Top 80 after a terrible start of 2017 but he was determined to fight back, scoring some big Grand Slam wins and reaching the first Major final at the US Open after a favourable draw, losing to Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

After this run in New York, Kevin was back inside the Top 20 and he was ready for more success in 2018, rested and eager to chase even bigger goals. For the first time in his career, the 32-year-old Anderson won two ATP titles, backed by his first Wimbledon final and 45 match wins to become world number 5 after Wimbledon and secure the place at the ATP Finals for the first time in his career.

Anderson found the way to hit more than 1000 aces for the second time in his career and he played well on the second serve as well to conquer 90% of the service games and deliver fine performance on the return to score three Top 10 wins and punch London ticket where he will play against Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem.

It was a dream start of the season for Anderson, reaching the final in Pune and Acapulco and winning the title in New York. The only setback was his Melbourne campaign where Kyle Edmund toppled him in five sets en route to the semi-final, and March offered more wins with the quarter-final in both Indian Wells and Miami, although we have to say he lost to lower-ranked players there, missing a chance for even stronger results.

Clay was never Anderson's cup of tea but he played in the semi-final of Madrid and the fourth round of the Roland Garros where he had a huge chance to beat Diego Schwartzman and enter the last eight before losing in five sets.

Leonardo Mayer halted him at the start of Queen's but that was soon to be forgotten after Kevin's thrilling Wimbledon campaign that pushed him into the second Grand Slam final. In the quarters, Anderson overcame two sets to love deficit to beat Roger Federer 13-11 in the fifth set before one of the longest matches of all time against another hard-hitting server John Isner whom he beat 26-24 in the deciding set of the semi-final to set the final clash against Novak Djokovic where he had nothing left in the tank after spending more than six and a half hours on the court against John.

Stefanos Tsitsipas saved a match point to beat Kevin in the semi-final of Toronto and he was beaten by Dominic Thiem in the fourth round of the US Open, failing to defend the points from the previous season. Richard Gasquet and Novak Djokovic finished Anderson's campaign in Tokyo and Shanghai and he went all the way in Vienna, claiming his first ATP 500 crown after a great performance against Kei Nishikori in the title match.

Kei scored a win over the South African in Paris but Kevin already did enough to secure one of eight spots in London where he will try to add some wins and defend the sixth place in the rankings ahead of Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem. Kevin Anderson's best results in 2018: