CAPE TOWN – Despite going down 6-2 6-2 in a one-sided semifinal to Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals in London on Saturday, Kevin Anderson capped a terrific year which he closed out with a No 6 world ranking.
Djokovic needed just 76 minutes to dispose of Anderson and secure a sixth straight ATP Finals appearance. However, for the first time, he reached the championship round without dropping a set.
Anderson afterwards said he was disappointed with his performance but was looking to next year.
“I would have loved to have done better the past two matches because I got off to such a good start,” said Anderson.
“Right now, obviously it's very disappointing, upsetting not being able to play a little bit better today.
"But finishing the year [in which I achieved} with my career-best ranking, there's been a lot of positives.
"As a team, we'll look for ways to improve because I still think there's room for improvement, there's still a lot of objectives that I've set for myself for next year.”
Anderson said he was heartened by his 2018 career highlights which included a second Wimbledon final appearance and two ATP World Tour titles. Also in July, he landed a career-high No 5 on the world rankings.
“I'm definitely looking at putting myself in the mix [in 2019],” said Anderson. “Being in the Top 5 was a big goal of mine for a long time.
"Hopefully next year, at this time, I'll finish Top 3. I think that will be a great goal for me. In order to do that, you're going to have to have very good results at the Masters 1000s and Grand Slams.
"Hopefully, I'll have a couple of titles, be in Masters 1000 finals and put myself in finals of Slams, and hopefully win one. That's the ultimate goal.
“I feel like I've put myself in a position where I'm a contender, a legitimate one. There are some things I need to do better at certain stages of tournaments, but that's what we'll be working at.
“It's such a fantastic event. I was super excited the whole week. I played two great matches to start off with, two very tough matches for me the last two, obviously against two very experienced opponents.
"This is the week that we look forward to all year. You work all year to get here.”
When Anderson reached Saturday's semifinals it marked the first time an African player had reached the penultimate round of the prestigious year-end event.
It was also only the second time a South African reached the ATP Finals after Wayne Ferreira made the cut in 1995.
African News Agency (ANA)