South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in action during his semi-final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic on Saturday. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

LONDON – Despite going down 6-2 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final to Novak Djokovic at the 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 five was a big goal of mine for a long time.

“Hopefully next year, at this time, I’ll finish top three. 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.”

When Anderson reached Saturday’s semi-finals it marked the first time an African player had reached the penultimate round of the prestigious year-end event. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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