He hadn’t been this far in a tournament since January 2019 in Pune, India. At the time, Kevin Anderson had won the title. Then, for almost two years, injuries and the stoppage of competition kept him far from his best. But in Austria, the South African shows this week that, little by little, work pays. Because his victim of the day is none other than Daniil Medvedev, world number 6 fallen in two sets (6-4, 7-6) and 1h29 of play. Anderson had not gone so far in an ATP 500 since the edition 2018 of the same tournament he also won.
What is the fate of a player sometimes? Passed very close to the exit in the first round against Dennis Novak (victory in the tie-break of the third set), Kevin Anderson has only increased in strength this week. After paying Pablo Carreno Busta, the South African offered his first Top 10 on Friday since Kei Nishikori two years ago at the London Masters. And the least we can say is that he did not steal his return to the foreground.
Anderson locked his service games
Remarkably solid in the exchange, he saw his offensive intentions on the second opposing ball pay off quickly with an entry break that he held to turn in the lead. The great fault of Medvedev was this delay in the ignition in the service with only 42% of first balls in the first set, behind which he also always won the point. In the second set, the Russian raised the cursor on serve and saved 4 break points in his first two games to gradually balance the game.
Anderson has never deviated from his offensive strategy. And he hasn’t seen a drop in service either. He only had one break opportunity to rule out (in the middle of the first round). In the unperturbed tie-break, he continued to send missiles, while his opponent made guilty mistakes under pressure. After falling under the blows of Opelka in Saint Petersburg, Medvedev is definitely struggling against the big servers at the end of the indoor season.