Brave Kevin goes down | SASCOC - SASCOC

Brave Kevin goes down

Kevin Anderson’s hopes of becoming the first South African man to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam for nine years were shattered by Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych in a French Open slugfest on Friday.

The 31st seed from Johannesburg was attempting to match comptariot Wayne Ferreira who made the fourth round at the Australian Open in 2003, reports AFP agency.

But after taking a two sets to one lead, he ran out of steam in the final set, when he needed treatment on his left thigh at every changeover, and lost 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4, eight minutes short of four hours.

Berdych, a semi-finalist in Paris in 2010, will next take on either ninth seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina or Marin Cilic of Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals.

The 26-year-old Czech had won both previous meetings with Anderson at this year’s Australian Open and on clay in Madrid last month without dropping a set and.

He looked on course for a comfortable win when he eased through the first set, but the 26-year-old South African matched him for big hitting in the second to level the tie.

Anderson had struggled to make this stage, having to save four match points in the first round against Rui Machado, but he played a more convincing tiebreak in the third which he sealed when Berdych dumped a simple smash into the net with the court at his mercy.

However, the Czech finished the fresher of the two, breaking in the ninth game of the fourth set and seventh of the decider to progress.

Meanwhile, Mark Etheridge reports that Natalie Grandin is our only representative left at the French Open.

She’s still fighting in the mixed doubles category after her and Czech Republic partner Vladimira Uhrilova went down in second round of the women’s doubles on Friday.

Seeded ninth in the women’s doubles they lost to the Taiwanese combination of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan, going down in straight sets 2-6 4-6.

Unseeded in the mixed doubles she and Australian partner Paul Hanley came up against fourth seeds Lisa Raymond (US) and Rohan Bopanna (India) and won a tight clash 7-6 (8) 4-6 and 10-16 in the third set.