PARIS – Florida-based Kevin Anderson eliminated fellow-African Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in straight sets in Paris on Tuesday, and is now set for a meeting with Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios in his next match at the French Open.
Anderson, ranked 56, ousted Jaziri (No 71) 7-6(4) 6-3 7-6(4).
The tall South African was wary of Jaziri’s trickiness going into the clash, but settled after a shaky start in which he was broken in the first game.
Anderson was optimistic after a close defeat to Kei Nishikori in Geneva heading into the French Open, so it was ironic that despite his mental awareness, he stuttered early on.
But he broke back and managed to edge the set to a tie-breaker, and won comfortably in the end.
Kyrgios, seeded 18, overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3.
It was the Australian’s first match that he managed to regain his usual on-court persona since the passing of his grandfather. But perhaps his newly appointed coach, Sebastien Grosjean, has had something to do with it.
The second-round match against Anderson promises to be an interesting one as they have met only once – and that was last year.
Anderson was victorious on that occasion, and considering Anderson’s form on clay this season so far, he might be able to edge out the Australian and make his best run yet at Roland Garros despite his less than stellar record at the event.
Meanwhile, Raven Klaasen and his American partner Rajeev Ram are seeded eighth in the doubles event.
They managed to get a decent draw and bag the first-round win in what has been a rather dismal clay season thus far, against the French wildcard duo, Kenny De Schepper and Vincent Millot.
Klaasen/Ram will next face the big-hitting Czechs, Roman Jebavý and Jiri Vesely. It will be a tough match, as the Czech pair recently won their first title together and Vesely has proved just how dangerous he is by knocking out Jack Sock (ATP 15) in the first round of the singles in Paris.