Kevin's French match-up | SASCOC - SASCOC

Kevin’s French match-up

Kevin Anderson will come up against Nicolas Mahut in the first round of the French Open tournament starting in Paris on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Our top-ranked player at No35 on the ATP Tour world rankings, Anderson is seeded 32nd for the year’s second Grand Slam event, with almost $10m as prize money.

This will be only his second French Open, having lost in the first round in last year’s tournament. That was also to a local player, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and after taking the opening two sets Anderson went down in a five-set marathon lasting 3hr 16min, 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4) 1-6.

But the stringbean American-based player’s game has come along in leaps and bounds over the last 12 months. Going into last year’s French Open he was ranked 93rd and he’ll fancy his chances against local player Mahut, currently ranked 54 places lower than him, at 89 on the rankings.

The two have only ever met on one occasion, back in 2008 where Mahut prevailed in straight sets 6-4 6-4 on the hardcore surface of Orleans, France in a Challenger event.

Anderson had a recent injury scare and had to pull out of the Rome Masters with injury. “I hit the line while sliding and rolled my ankle. Just a really bad part of the court,” Anderson told Road to London 2012 this week. ‘But I am making good progress, doing a lot of rehab on it. I spent the week in Rome working with the ATP trainers. I arrived in Paris last Sunday so all looking promising for French Open!”

Meanwhile our top-ranked women’s player, Chani Scheepers, will also be in action in the women’s category at Roland Garros. Scheepers, who made a name for herself by reaching the fourth round last year, will play Ukraine’s Viktoriya Kutuzova, 22, currently ranked a lowly 976th, in first round action.