JOHANNESBURG, July (ANA) - Kevin Anderson became the first South African in 24 years to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon with a 7-6 7-6 5-7 7-6 victory over Frenchman Gael Monfils in the fourth round on Monday.
“It was a really high-quality match, I had to dig deep,” Anderson said after the match.
“I’ve played Gael a few [five] times and this is the first time I’ve beaten him.”
Wayne Ferreira was the last SA player to make it into the last eight in 1994, and now the eighth-seeded Anderson will have the unenviable task of coming up against eight-time Wimbledon champion and number one seed Roger Federer of Switzerland on Wednesday.
“It’s a great opportunity playing the greatest grass court player of all-time, right now it will just be about recovering and getting ready to play Roger.”
in the first set, the pair traded a break of serve each, the 32-year-old Anderson broke his opponent in the seventh game and Monfils broke straight back in the following game. There would be no further breaks as the players headed to a tiebreak. The Anderson serve proved too strong in the break as the SA player claimed it 7-4.
Monfils needed just one break point opportunity in the second set as he broke in the fifth game to move 3-2 ahead.
Monfils increased his lead to 4-2, but Anderson responded by winning the next three games in a row, before the Frenchman held his serve to take the score to 5-5. Once more, the players went to a tiebreak. This time, Anderson was even stronger in the breaker as he surged to a 6-2 lead before closing out the set with an ace. In fact, Anderson boasted a win-rate of 91 percent of points on his first serve.
In the sixth game of the third set, Monfils broke Anderson to take a 4-2 lead which quickly became 5-2 when he held serve to love in the next game. With Monfils 30-0 up serving for the set at 5-3 up, Anderson found something extra to win the next four points in a row to break.
Just when the third set appeared to be heading to another tiebreak, Monfils took his first break point opportunity at 40-30 up on the Anderson serve, to claim the set 7-5. Interestingly, Anderson dropped to just 65 percent of points won on his first serve during the set.
The fourth set was extremely tightly-contested which did not feature any breaks of serve as a result. For the third time in the match, a set needed a tiebreak to separate the heavy-hitters. With the players locked at 4-4, Anderson found a crucial mini-break. Anderson held his nerve to serve out the breaker 7-4 and book his ticket into the last eight. - African News Agency (ANA)