Kevin Anderson of South Africa celebrates after defeating Spain's Fernando Verdasco.

Johannesburg – Kevin Anderson reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time with a gutsy performance at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday.

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

This is the furthest 26-year-old has progressed in a grand slam tournament.

Anderson has previously reached the third round of the French Open and his victory over Verdasco must be his biggest highlight since beating world No 1 Novak Djokovic in 2008. – Sapa