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Emotional Anderson Breaks New Ground; Faces Berdych Next

Melbourne, Australia

Anderson© Getty ImagesKevin Anderson has become the first South African man since Wayne Ferreira in 2003 to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam championship.

Kevin Anderson admitted that he got very emotional towards the end of his five-set third-round victory over Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open on Friday.

Anderson hit 55 winners to beat the Spanish No. 22 seed and 2009 semi-finalist 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2, in three hours and 46 minutes, on Hisense Arena.

"I was very emotional at the end,” said Anderson. “I tried my best to win it at 5-2. It's a little easier than having to serve it out. I was pretty happy to see that forehand go by."

The victory meant that Anderson became the first South African man to reach the fourth round of a major championship since Wayne Ferreira 10 years ago. Ferreira worked his way through to the Australian Open semi-finals in 2003.

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"[Getting to the fourth round of a major] was definitely on my mind, I had fallen short in the third round four times I think,” said Anderson. “I just tried to focus on what I was doing out there in terms of the game I was trying to play. It really meant a lot to me, getting through that match, especially a five-set match.

"It would definitely be up there as one of the most important and best matches I've played. The only ones in the same ballpark would have been the finals I've played at the 250 [ATP World Tour] level.

"It was one of the most important matches of my life and hopefully I'll be able to reproduce more of those in the future."

Anderson will next meet fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who is making his 10th straight appearance at Melbourne Park.
 
Anderson said, “I'll definitely know what to expect. I've played Tomas a few times now. He's a tough player to play against. He's been Top 10 for a number of years [and reached a] Grand Slam final."

Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, beat No. 26 seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria for the third time in five hard-court meetings. The Czech won 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 48 minutes.

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"I felt I was moving pretty well,” said Berdych. “I like the courts, it brings me good memories. My game was really solid all the way through the match.

"[In the] next round Anderson will be a different opponent, so I will have to bring something different. I know him quite well, we've played a couple of times and they were all pretty close.

"I heard already someone say that 'it's like me playing against myself'. Let's see how I can deal with that. [There is] not many matches where you face an opponent that plays such a similar game. I saw him play today and he was really impressive."

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