Kevin wins in Sweden | SASCOC - SASCOC

Kevin wins in Sweden

Kevin Anderson’s fine form of 2011 continued in Sweden on Tuesday when he went through to the second round of the Stockholm Open, writes Mark Etheridge.

Starting the week ranked 31st on the ATP Tour ranking, just one down from last week’s career-high of 30th, the tournament’s fifth seed went past Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round of only his second indoor match of the year.

It was a tough encounter with both sets going to tiebreakers before Anderson prevailed 7-6 (1) 7-6 (4) in a match lasting 2hr 08min out on Centre Court.

As is usually the case, Anderson topped the aces battle with nine compared to the Spaniard’s four while Guillermo-Lopez also had seven double faults to contend with.

Currently enjoying the finest year of his career, including victory in the SA Open early in the year, since turning pro in 1997, Anderson will now come up against Germany’s veteran wildcard Tommy Haas in the second round.

Coincidentally, Haas got past Somdev Devvarman in the first round of this 600,000 euro tournament. Devvarman is the man Anderson beat to win the SA Open in February. Their second round meeting will be the first time they’ve faced off in any form of tournament.

Once ranked as high as No2 on the ATP Tour rankings, 33-year-old Haas currently slots in at a lowly 290th after 14-month break from the sport as he recovered from hip and shoulder operations.

“I went down a couple of breaks in each set, but I managed to break back,” Anderson told AFP news agency after his match. “You don’t want to lose serve that many times. But I kept fighting and picked up my game nicely.”

The South African who is still troubled by a left knee injury which he is playing through, recovered from 5-2 down in the second set with a laborious fightback. “This was tough, like our match in Miami in March,” said Anderson. “He has a great backhand and I’m still getting used to indoor tennis. I wasn’t hitting as well as I wanted at the start, but I had patches of good tennis. I want to analyse those and try to repeat them.”

Anderson characterised his knee injury as “cartilage wear and tear” and said that he needs to keep a careful eye on the problem as he plays on. There’s a lot of treatment involved, but I’m happy with the progress.”