MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 19: Kevin Anderson of South Africa plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during day seven of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Johannesburg – Former South African tennis ace Neville Godwin says he hopes to push South African singles player Kevin Anderson into the world top-15.

Godwin, who was ranked as high as 90 in world singles, on Tuesday confirmed he had been asked to coach Anderson and was quite shocked when he was approached.

“I was taken totally unawares,” Godwin said on Tuesday.

“Kevin called me in mid-December to ask if I was interested.

“Obviously I am excited and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I feel privileged that Kevin came to me.”

Godwin will coach Anderson in 2014 after his current mentor, New Zealander GD Jones, decided to take up a corporate position in Auckland.

The big-serving Anderson, currently ranked 22 in the world, was recently knocked out of the Australian Open in the fourth round after going down to his nemesis Czech Tomas Berdych.

Berdych has beaten the South African in all 10 of their encounters.

Godwin said he felt there were a few places Anderson could sharpen up his game.

“I am happy with his movement and the way he strikes the ball. But I would like to help him with the placements of his volleys and I think his service percentage could be better.

“I believe Kevin is looking for a way to shorten points and, in any case, I think he’s a better player when he comes forward.

“He also has to improve his numbers against the top ten guys and obviously there are many other small things we need to work on.”

Godwin will join Anderson in the US this week at practice sessions in Delray Beach, Florida.

Their first tournament together will be the Delray Beach tournament starting on February 17. – Sapa