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Another marathon match… but Anderson goes through

By Mark Etheridge

Top-ranked South African Kevin Anderson once again came from behind to book his place in the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Just as he did in his first round match against Czech Jiri Vesely, Anderson came down from two sets down before triumphing against Frenchman Eduourd Roger-Vasselin.

The final score after a match lasting just six minutes short of four hours in sweltering conditions, was 3-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 7-5.

Before triumphing he had to survive a matchpoint at 4-5 down in the fifth before pulling back to 6-5.

He then had his own chance to close things out when he was 40-30 up on the Roger-Vasselin service before tamely pushing a forehand over the baseline.

It wasn’t long though before another chance came up and this time it was Roger-Vasselin who sent a volley sailing out of court as Anderson sank to his knees in celebration.. and relief.

Reaching the fourth round means that Anderson will retain his 21st place on the ATP Tour rankings list and if he wins his next match he will no doubt climb back into the top 20.

But, and it’s a very big but, he now has to face his nemesis, in the name of Tomas Berdych, once again.

The two have an uncanny knack of meeting each other on tour and this will be the 10th time they’ve come up against each other and history is squarely against the lanky South African. They’ve now met nine times in the last two years.

He is yet to beat the Czech player and it was Berdych who put out Anderson in the round of 16 stage at this tournament in 2013.

Speaking on his rematch with Berdych, Anderson said: “I’ve had some really tough matches to get to this point so now I must just keep goingÔǪ yeah, I’ve played him a good few times, he’s a great player and a tough challenge but I’m looking forward to it and give it a go.”

Match statistics show that Anderson’s big serve was working and he sent down 27 aces to the eight of Roger-Vasselin. Double faults were 6-4 to Anderson had a success rate of 67% with his first services and won 76% of points up for grabs.

His fastest service was measured at a booming 220km/h and he’ll need plenty of those and an all-round game if he is to top Berdych improving his winning record against Anderson to double figures.

And Berdych will be better rested than Anderson after a straight sets win over Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur on Friday that saw him out on court for just an hour and 45 minutes.


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