ANA Sports Reporter
LONDON, England, July 12 (ANA) – South African Kevin Anderson had a message for all South Africans after his epic five-set victory over Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on Wednesday.
"Just stick to your dreams and keep believing in yourself," Anderson told the world's press when asked about the impact of his feat in his native South Africa.
Anderson had caused the biggest shock of the fortnight by defeating the No 1 seed and defending champion Federer 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.
Anderson also confirmed at the press conference that his application for dual citizenship with the United States was still being processed.
When asked the media coverage back home and his role as a South African flag bearer, Anderson replied: "Yeah, already gotten tons of messages from support back home.
"Obviously at this sort of event, playing against an opponent like Roger is going to have a lot of coverage.
"It's not easy coming from South Africa, it's very far from the tennis scene.
Anderson said he had thought about his losing overall record to Federer and admitted he was unsettled starting the match.
"I thought I settled down much better in the second set. Even though I lost it in a tiebreak, I felt I played a much, much better set of tennis.
"Obviously in the third set, I just tried to compete as hard as I could. I was able to, you know, hold serve throughout. He had that one match point, but I played a good point and was able to get that break.
"I felt like once I did that, I really settled down well and felt pretty comfortable out there."
Questioned about the setting, the head-to-head, Anderson was asked whether this was his single biggest victory in his career.
"Yeah, I haven't thought about it too much in the broader context of things. It felt great to get that match. I mean, I think the toughest thing players face when going out playing somebody like Roger in this kind of setting is giving yourself a chance.
"I feel like the times that I've played him before, or other guys sort of with his ranking and history, I haven't really allowed myself to play.
"The first set was an example of that. I was really proud of myself the way I was able to relax, play my game. That's a big goal that I've had. Even if I'd lost that match in three sets or four sets, I still actually made some progress on that front. That was a good plus.
"Obviously it's infinitely better winning that match. But overall obviously a lot of positives to take from it.
"In terms of my overall Wimbledon, it's definitely a win that means a lot to me today. It's tough in the sense that I've got to get ready for my next match. I can't dwell on it too long.
"Obviously a lot of emotions going on. You try to calm down as quickly as possible. I have already started my recovery process.
"As I said at the beginning of the tournament, getting through to the quarters was a big goal of mine. But also putting myself in these positions where hopefully I'm able to get another step forward and be playing on Sunday.
Asked about what he had done to maintain and increase his fitness, Anderson said one was always learning. "Even in the French, after my fourth-round match, it was a long match, I had sort of an issue that's plagued me before.
"We made a few adjustments this week. It's been working well. I have a great team with me. Obviously, I spend a lot of time with my physio.
"A lot of the work happened obviously before the tournament. I think one of the keys, especially in these Grand Slams, because they're two weeks in length, you have to try and keep up with some of your off-court maintenance, especially I think the strength work.
"I think sometimes in the past I've done a lot going into the tournament. During the tournament, you know, you sort of back off a little bit. I've actually been a little bit more aggressive this tournament in terms of some of the strength I've done on the off days, which I think has been beneficial.
"I think just the more experience you get, just managing these sort of matches, managing your body better. There's no, like, single key you can identify. I think really a whole host of things that come into play." - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Herman Gibbs