Kevin Anderson calls on South Africans to be united in his victory speech
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CAPE TOWN - During Sunday's victory speech at the Hall of Fame Open, Rhode Island, South Africa's former world No 5 Kevin Anderson called on his compatriots to be united during the challenging times the country is experiencing.
Anderson defeated American Jenson Brooksby 7-6(8), 6-4 after two hours and 11 minutes to win his seventh ATP Tour title. It was his first title since January 2019 when he won in Pune, India.
He is the first South African to triumph in Rhode Island, Newport, since Johannesburg-born Neville Godwin in 2001.
"I want to say there have been a lot of difficulties happening around the world and South Africa are going through a very difficult time," said Anderson during the trophy ceremony.
This one is truly special 🏆 Winning my 7th title at the @halloffameopen means so much, being with my family and in such a historic place for tennis, it’s just an incredible feeling. Thank you @TennisHalloFame for having me and everyone in Newport and beyond for your support. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/TlFNF5N6li— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) July 18, 2021
"I want to say to everybody back home please keep believing in our country. Stay united because I know together, we can get through this."
In recent months, Anderson has been battling with injuries but played with relative ease. His trademark serve was at the heart of his straight-sets win and he cracked a fistful of 16 aces in the match.
“It’s been a pretty tough run with some injuries," said Anderson. "To be back here at the International Tennis Hall of Fame with such history, this could not be a better week for me to start, hopefully, my comeback.
"I’m very motivated to get back. But it all starts with each match, and I was able to grind it out.”
“Thanks to the tournament for giving me a wild card. It worked out for me. The last time I was here was in 2008. It is significant in a way. I was starting my career then, and I guess I am towards the end, but very motivated to keep going.”
Anderson’s title win was the first in front of both wife Kelsey and daughter Keira.