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- Stapleton flies flag for SA in India
- Judoka ready to get to grips for Team SA
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- SA duo up for prestigious world awards
- SA youngsters aim for a repeat of 2014
- Health issues as South Africa play catch-up in India
- Team SA head off to Angola on Region 5 Games mission
Anderson digs deep to triumph Down Under
- Updated: January 13, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
Top-ranked South African, Kevin Anderson had to dig deep before booking his place in the second round of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Monday.
Anderson has had a lean streak of late and it certainly looked to be staying that way as he went down two sets to Jiri Vesely.
The young Czech, 20, took the first two sets 6-2 7-6 (4) after 91 minutes of action out on Court 19.
Seeded 19th for the first grand slam of the year, Anderson then dug deep to win the remaining three sets, all with a 6-4 margin in a match lasting three hours 49min. The final three sets all lasted 46minutes each.
Like Anderson, Vesely is a tall man, standing 1.98m to the South African’s 2.03m.
This resulted in something of a ace-fest with Anderson firing down 21 to Vesely’s 16. There were also plenty of doube-faults with 10 for Vesely and just one less for Anderson.
In the first service percentages though Anderson had the edge with a 63% success rate to 57% for Vesely. He also won 83% of points up for grabs on first service compared to the 75% of his opponent.
Going into the match Anderson was ranked 20th on the ATP rankings while Vesely is 82nd. Anderson will need to reach the fourth round to stand a chance of staying in the top 20 when the rankings are next released.
He’ll now come up against another 20-year-old in the shape of Dominic Thiem, currently ranked 137th in the world.
In the women’s draw, our top-seeded singles player, Chani Scheepers, will also be up against an Austrian opponent in the first round of women’s play. She takes on Yvonne Meusberger.
Scheepers is currently ranked 79th on the WTA listings compared to Meusberger’s 49th.