SA's Kevin Anderson is still ranked eighth on the ATP list. Photo: ATP World Tour

MADRID – Sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson says "he felt focused" in reaching the semifinals of the Madrid Open where he will play fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem on Saturday evening.

World No 8 Anderson reached the last four after his 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajofic in Friday's quarterfinals.

“I must be honest, I think I did a good job then because I didn't really think of it too much of my 0-10 record in Masters 1000 quarterfinals," said Anderson afterwards.

"I had lots of reason to think about it. Indian Wells and Miami, not that long ago. Two 7-6s in the third set, to fall a bit short, including match points against Pablo Carreno Busta in Miami.

“Of course, I knew the opportunity existed today against Lajovic. I thought the first step was putting myself in that position. I was able to do that. Going out there today, I just really focused on what I needed to do. 

"Thinking too much about previous results is not going to do me too much good, outside of the fact that, sure, there was motivation to get through. 

"I really wanted to break through and be in the semifinals. It was a goal that I set myself. It doesn't mean that I'm done. It definitely feels good. It was a mini-goal accomplished for me today.”

His opponent Thiem beat World No 1 Rafael Nadal, to avenge his loss in the 2017 Madrid final. He also ended Nadal's 21-match, 50-set, winning streak on clay.

Anderson leads Thiem 6-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but they have not met on clay before. 

African News Agency 

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