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Anderson into fourth round of French Open
- Updated: May 31, 2013
Kevin Anderson became the first South African in 17 years to reach the French Open fourth round on Friday.
The 27-year-old follows in the footsteps of Wayne Ferreira, who made the last 16 in 1996, after knocking out Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic, 7-5 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 in the third round, reports Reuters. The 23rd-seeded Anderson has equalled his best Grand Slam performance ÔÇô a run to the fourth round at the Australian Open this year.
He will face Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Wayne was a great player,” said Anderson, who made his first career claycourt final in Casablanca this year. “I have a long way to go until I match his achievements, but being in the fourth round is great for me.
Ferreira’s run in 1996 ended in the fourth round when he lost to two-time champion Jim Courier.
But he remains South Africa’s most consistent singles player of recent years, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2003.
Anderson has a 1-1 record against Ferrer, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2012. The Johannesburg-born beat the Spaniard in three sets at the Indian Wells Masters this year.
Ferrer had beaten him in straight sets in the US Open first round in 2012 “I will have to play really good tennis, he’s one of the best players in the world and on clay he’s even tougher,” added Anderson. “But I can look back at when I beat him at Indian Wells and see what I did well then.”
Anderson said he was delighted to have taken the sting out of Raonic’s big serve, aided by the slow, cool conditions on Court Seven. “Milos is a very tough opponent. He has such a good serve but I did a great job on his second serve.
“Being in the fourth round is great. People say that clay is not my surface but I just needed more experience.”
Raonic was hoping to become the first Canadan man ever to reach the fourth round, but he admitted he had been outplayed by the big South African.
“I lacked execution. I didn’t play great but he made me feel uncomfortable,” said the 22-year-old. “He just didn’t give me any breathing space. “He’s doing things well on clay. He beats the guys he should do and is only losing to the top guys.”