Mission Possible: Anderson Reaches 2nd Week Again
South African set to meet Monfils on Monday
Animated and emotional, Kevin Anderson is on a mission. Playing some of the best tennis of his career, the South African competed with great poise and confidence to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Friday at The Championships.
Eighth seed Anderson saved two set points in the second set of his 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 victory over No. 25 seed Kohlschreiber in two hours and seven minutes. Through to the Last 16 for the fourth time in the past five years, Anderson has lost just one of his 10 sets — against Andreas Seppi in the second round — this week.
"I thought today was a terrific match for me. I knew I was going to be in for a tough one against Philipp. As I was saying yesterday, he's a very experienced player," Anderson said. "It's always a great feeling getting through to the second week here at Wimbledon. I have done it a few times. One of my first goals was try and take it a step further and reach the quarters. In order to do that, you need to put yourself in the Round of 16. I have done that so far, so definitely looking forward to the opportunity on Monday."
"I haven't beaten him before, so looking forward to having that opportunity," Anderson said. "[I] haven't played him on the grass. It will be an interesting adjustment to see what happens. I feel like on other surfaces he does such a great job of retrieving, absorbing pace very well. He stands quite far back behind the baseline. I feel it's a little tougher to do on grass."
Anderson dominated the early exchanges against Kohlschreiber, taking a 2-0 lead and losing just one of his 16 first-service points in the 30-minute set, which featured only seven points over four strokes.
It was only after Anderson broke in the opening game of the second set that Kohlschreiber found a route in, dictating with his forehand. The experienced German held two set-point opportunities at 5-4, with Anderson serving at 15/40, but an ace and a forehand error ended any hope. Anderson regrouped and broke with a forehand winner in the next game, then took a two sets lead with a hold to love.
Kohlschreiber had his chances to break – four points in total – but was denied by Anderson’s serve or his own rushed, snatched returns. Anderson had luck on his side at 5-5 in the third set, when a return trickled over the net tape at 30/40, much to Kohlschreiber’s frustration.
"It's tough to play against Kevin. He's a player with a high-risk level of his game and a big server," Kohlschreiber said. "I think it was a good match. Maybe the first set I didn't start it well... Maybe I struggled the first minutes on court, but then I think I played quite well. Yeah, he deserved to win. He was better."
Anderson, now with 297 match wins in his career (297-211), also reached the fourth round at the All England Club in 2014 (l. to Murray), 2015 (l. to Djokovic) and also last year (l. to Querrey). Today’s win marked his 15th victory on the manicured lawns.
He captured his fourth ATP World Tour title at the inaugural New York Open (d. Querrey) in February and also reached the finals at the Tata Open Maharashtra (l. to Simon) and Abierto Mexicano Telcel presantado por HSBC (l. to Del Potro). With a 26-10 record in 2018, he'll return on Monday for his next test.
Did You Know?
Anderson has produced his best Grand Slam championship results at the US Open, where he reached the 2017 final (l. to Nadal). He also advanced to the quarter-finals in 2015 (l. to Wawrinka).