Kevin Anderson opened his Millennium Estoril Open marketing campaign on Monday with a dramatic 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) victory in opposition to Frances Tiafoe wherein he saved a match level.
The South African fired a backhand onto the baseline to save lots of match level at 5/6 within the second-set tie-break and he rallied from 1-4 down within the decider to succeed in the second spherical. Anderson performed with constant aggression on his forehand within the final-set tie-break and fired his twentieth ace of the match to seal his victory after two hours and 47 minutes.
“It was clearly a really, very shut match,” Anderson mentioned. “I feel there have been lots of positives, lots of actually prime quality tennis, particularly from halfway by way of the second till the tip of the match, I used to be actually proud of the way in which I performed. I feel even when I had misplaced that match, clearly it is at all times powerful dropping, however I undoubtedly felt I took a step in the correct route right this moment.
“Getting the win is an enormous added bonus, it offers me one other alternative to come back out in a pair days’ time.”
The 2017 semi-finalist is making his first look on clay this season. Anderson owns a 3-3 report in 2021, highlighted by his run to the Nice Ocean Highway Open third spherical in February.
“I really feel like I am taking part in actually good tennis, it is nearly getting that momentum, that self-belief again to the place I would like it to be,” Anderson mentioned. “As at all times, I simply really feel prefer it’s so essential to take it one step at a time.”
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Anderson will meet fourth seed Kei Nishikori for a spot within the quarter-finals. The 34-year-old owns a 4-5 ATP Head2Head report in opposition to the Japanese, which incorporates three wins from the pair’s 4 most up-to-date matches. Within the large image, the two-time Grand Slam finalist nonetheless has his sights on returning to the highest of the game.
“I am nonetheless taking part in to win a Grand Slam and win Masters collection [events]. It is what I’ve spent my entire life engaged on. Clearly that is the top of our sport,” Anderson mentioned. “You are actually going to must play lots of good tennis to get again there. I do know what it takes. It isn’t straightforward, however that is undoubtedly what I am capturing for. I feel the physique and staying bodily wholesome shall be most likely the most important problem, however I am doing every part I can on that entrance. Greater than that, I am unable to do.”
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina battled exhausting to beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 and report his tenth match win of the season. The 21-year-old will subsequent face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Spaniard Jaume Munar 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Davidovich Fokina is seeking to push larger than his present career-high of No. 48 within the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Spaniard recorded the most important win of his profession two weeks in the past on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the place he beat World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini en path to the quarter-finals.
Portuguese qualifier Nuno Borges earned his maiden ATP Tour victory on Monday. The 24-year-old overcame Jordan Thompson 7-6(5), 6-3 to verify a second-round encounter in opposition to sixth seed Marin Cilic or #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.