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Berdych too good for Anderson

Johannesburg – Kevin Anderson's impressive singles run at the Australian Open was halted by fifth seed Tomas Berdych in the fourth round of the Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne on Sunday.

Anderson put up a fight, taking the third set to a tie-break, but Berdych held on to win 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (15/13) and reach the quarterfinals.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa hits a return to Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic. Credit: REUTERS

The Czech player is ranked 25 places higher than the South African by the ATP.

Anderson had progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time with a gutsy performance against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

The South African men's No 1 twice fought back from a set down to beat Verdasco, the former world No 7, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the third round.

He held his nerve against Italian Paulo Lorenzi, securing a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in the first round, and bagged a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 straight sets win over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in round two.

Anderson is still involved in the tournament: he and Israeli partner Jonathan Erlich will face the Dutch pairing of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling in the third round of the men's doubles competition on Monday.

Another South African Natalie Grandin, and Valdimira Uhlirova of the Czech Republic, will square up against the Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the third round of the women's doubles.

Earlier in the week, Chanelle Scheepers, the only other South African in the main singles draw for the tournament, went down 1-6, 2-6 against Czech world No 22 Klara Zakopalova in the opening round of the women's singles.

Scheepers and American partner Jill Craybas were knocked out by Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in straight sets in the second round of the women's doubles.

Grandin and American Rajeev Ram lost in straight sets to Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova and Italian Fabio Fognini in the first round of the mixed doubles. – Sapa

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