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Anderson cruises into Sydney semi-finals

Our top-ranked singles player, unseeded Kevin Anderson is through to the semi-finals of the Apia International tournament in Sydney after dismantling Denis Istomin 6-4 6-3 on Thursday.

The 26-year-old South African won 74% of his first serve points in his first meeting against the world No46. Anderson now meets Julien Benneteau in Friday’s semi-final after the Frenchman dispatched qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes.

The ATP website reports that the 2012 finalist did not face a break point and won 81% of his first serve points in his first match against the American. Benneteau holds a 2-0 FedExt ATP Head2Head advantage over Anderson, though the duo have not clashed since 2010.

Anderson said he was pleased with his performance in the year-to-date, and paid credit to his improved confidence at the net. “It just requires time spent during matches venturing up there more and more often. I think as time goes on I start to feel more comfortable doing that,” Anderson said.

“If you don’t hit a great shot or hit a finishing volley, you’re almost like you’re a sitting duck at the net sometimes. I think you just have to be very selective when you choose to come to the net,” he mused.

Thirty-one-year-old Benneteau, who will be seeded at next week’s Australian Open due to John Isner’s withdrawal due to injury, said he hoped to maintain his unbeaten record against Anderson.

“He’s playing good, he’s a dangerous player with a very big serve but I know I can beat him, so I am confident,” the Frenchman said.


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