PUNE – Kevin Anderson of South Africa has not let slip the momentum of his career-best 2018 ATP Tour season, beating No 7 seed Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to reach Friday's semifinals of the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India, for the second consecutive year.
“Firstly, I’m happy with the way I played today. I thought I did a really good job creating opportunities and taking them, so it definitely felt good out there,” Anderson said.
The South African began his 2018 campaign with a run to the championship match in Pune, losing to French veteran Gilles Simon in the final.
But Anderson, who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time last year, hopes to take a step further in India this time around.
He will get a chance to avenge that championship match defeat, as the world No 6 will face Simon in the semifinals.
Anderson, the top seed, was opportunistic in the quarterfinals against Munar, seizing all four of the break points he earned.
With the help of 14 aces and only losing six first-service points, Anderson was only broken once. However, he was still impressed with Munar, who qualified for the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals.
“Haven’t seen him play before, really. What struck me the most was his attitude. I thought he competed really well throughout the whole match, even when I started getting ahead, he was in it every game, so I think that’s a huge positive,” Anderson said.
“I think he’s definitely an exciting player to watch and definitely keep your eye out for him.”
While Munar is on the rise, Simon has been a mainstay on the ATP Tour for years, and the Frenchman beat his compatriot, fifth-seed Benoit Paire, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.
Simon was in danger of seeing his title defence come to an end when Paire served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but the third seed pulled through to reach the last four after two hours and 19 minutes.
Anderson leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1.
African News Agency (ANA)