JOHANNESBURG – Kevin Anderson has booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Geneva Open, but he will have his work cut out to advance against Kei Nishikori on Thursday.
The tall South African’s road to the last eight in the ATP 250 tournament has been testing, and it will take something special to beat Nishikori for only the second time in his career.
In the first round, Anderson overcame Italian journeyman and seventh seed Paolo Lorenzi.
It was a close 7-5 7-6(1) scoreline, which saw Anderson hit 11 aces, and he did not drop serve against the 34th-ranked Italian.
However, Anderson held on to the only break of the match and confidently closed it.
The 35-year-old Italian is currently enjoying the best tennis of his career, and it showed in his match against Anderson.
Lorenzi is yet another player who is showing that longevity on court is possible, following the trend set by household names such as Roger Federer and Ivo Karlovic, who are 35 and 38 respectively.
Anderson was pushed once again in the round of 16 against next generation player Jared Donaldson. Anderson’s attacking style of tennis has paid off in the hot conditions which have prevailed at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
The conditions greatly favoured Anderson’s bold and big hitting. After a comfortable first set against Donaldson, he let a match point in the second set slip away.
However, Anderson did not hesitate in the third, though, as he finally sealed the victory 6-3 6-7(7) 6-2.
The next match will be another tough one for Anderson, as he has only won one of the four meetings against Nishikori in the past. However, Nishikori has not seen much court time recently, as he has had major setbacks with his wrist injury, which forced him to withdraw from the recent Madrid Open and a third-round exit from last week’s Italian Open.
Despite a late entry for Geneva, Nishikori is seeded second and got off to a good start after a convincing win against Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 6- 3.
All in all, Anderson is facing an opportunity to continue his recent resurgence. He has celebrated victories in the past month over Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer, which lifted his ranking to No 62 ahead of the final warm-up for the French Open.