A Year After Contemplating Hip Surgery, Kevin Anderson Reaches US Open Final - UBITENNIS
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A Year After Contemplating Hip Surgery, Kevin Anderson Reaches US Open Final




Kevin Anderson (zimbio.com)

Kevin Anderson has become the first South African player to reach the final of the US Open since 1965 after defeating Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3,6-4, in the semifinals.


Playing in the last four of a major time for the first time in his career, the 31-year-old recovered from a tentative start to tame his rival, who didn’t drop a single set heading into their last four meeting. Anderson’s tally of 22 aces and 58 winners was enough to cement his place in this history books. Becoming the first player from his country to reach a grand slam final since John Kriek at the 1982 Australian Open.

“It’s been a long road. These grand slams are tough. We’ve been privileged enough to play with some of the best players to ever play the game.” Anderson told ESPN after the match.

The long road the Johannesburg-player refers to is one filled with injury. At the start of the year Anderson dropped to as low as 80th in the world after experiencing issues with his knee and hip. At the end of 2016 he was told there was a ‘probable’ chance that he would require hip surgery. A procedure that could take up to a year to recover from. Instead, the 31-year-old defied the odds and eventually got his long awaited reward in New York.

“This is why we work so hard. It was an unbelievably tough match for me.” He said. “I was pretty nervous starting out, I’m sure Pablo was the same.”

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The encounter was one for the record books. Two first time semifinalist haven’t clash in a grand slam since the 2005 French Open. It was evident that nerves would become a factor in the match and it was Anderson who was first to buckle. Despite leading their head-to-head 2-0, the error-stricken South African struggled to break down a relentless Carreno Busta early on.

Midway through the opening set, a nightmare service game from the 28th seed secured the breakthrough Carreno Busta sought. A double fault followed by a duo of forehand errors from Anderson enable the Spaniard to break for a 4-3 lead. In control of proceedings, nerves didn’t appear to trouble a determined Carreno Busta, who sealed the 6-3 lead with the help of a speedy unreturned serve out wide. Prompting a mighty roar from him.

Seeking redemption for his lacklustre start to the match, which featured 18 unforced errors in the opening set, Anderson relaxed more in the match. Spurring himself on with numerous outbursts of ‘Come On,’ he battled to turn his fortunes around. Exchanging breaks during the early stages of the season set, his tennis soon frustrated Carreno Busta. A double fault by the Spaniard at 5-6 rewarded Anderson a golden chance to get back into the match by level at a set apiece. It was an opportunity sized as the 28th seed drew level with the help of a double-handed backhand winner.

Anderson’s comeback resulted in his opponent rapidly fading on the Arthur Ashe stadium. The following two sets consisted of him pilling on the pressure without facing a single break point as his opponent struggled to find a solution. Carreno Busta might be the higher ranked player, but his game plan wasn’t enough to get the win he wanted. Glimmers of the Spaniards brilliance were on display, but unfortunately for him that all it was.

A game away from the biggest final of his career, Anderson’s win was far from certain. Serving for the place in the final, the first point saw Carreno Busta prevail in marathon a 38-shot rally to electrify the crowd. Still, it was not enough to derail the former top-10 player. A smash down the line elevated Anderson to match point before the milestone victory was concluded with a Carreno Busta unforced error.

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In the midst of victory, people could have been forgiven for thinking he had won the entire tournament. In a somewhat unorthodox move, he went straight towards the stands to celebrate with his team. Providing his own version of Pat Cash’s memorable climb into the crowd when he won the Wimbledon title. It could have been an over the top reaction, but it was fitting to the mood. Finally the injury-stricken Anderson has got his break, nine years after his grand slam debut.

Anderson in the lowest ranked player to reach a grand slam final since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008. Awaiting him will be either Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro. Two players he has never beaten before.


Wimbledon: Quarter-Finalist Cristian Garin loves The Event But Not So much The Surface

The South American reacts to reaching his first major quarter-final.




Cristian Garin (CHI) - Credit: AELTC/Ben Solomon

Just over a week ago, Cristian Gain admitted that he was ‘upset’ when he saw his draw for Wimbledon this year. 


The world No.43 was set to take on the formidable Matteo Berrettini in the first round who has won two grass-court titles in a row in recent weeks. However, the Italian was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, his opponent was the much lower-ranked Elias Ymer from Sweden who he defeated in straight sets. Since then, Garin hasn’t looked back.

On Monday at The All England Club, he staged an audacious comeback to defeat Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-6). Not only did Garin bounce back from two sets down, he also saved two match points in the process. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last eight of the tournament since Fernando Gonzalez in 2005 and only the fourth in history to do so. 

“It is something very special for me. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. Every time that I play this tournament is something special I feel,” said Garin.
“To be in the quarterfinals is a dream. I will try to enjoy it. I will try to give my best in the next round.”

Ironically Garin comes from a country where there are no grass courts. This year is his fifth appearance at Wimbledon and it was at the event where he made his Grand Slam debut back in 2017. However, like many other South Americans, clay is still his preferred surface.

“I said Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, not my favorite surface,” he jokes. 
“I think the grass is very fun for me. I have to change a little bit the way that I play. I think here on this surface you have to be aggressive.

Garin is one of only five ATP players from Chile currently ranked in the world’s top 500. Since April he has been coached by Pepe Vendrell who previously worked as a mentor to Roberto Bautista Agut and served as Spain’s captain in the ATP Cup. 

The next test for Garin will be a showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who defeated Brandon Nakashima in his fourth round match.

“He is for me one of the guys that I like to watch. He’s very good for tennis,” he said of Kyrgios.
“In these rounds, you play the best. For me, Nick is obviously one of the best on grass.”

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Last Brit Standing Cameron Norrie Urges Fans ‘To Get Behind Him’ At Wimbledon

The Brit says he is feeling more comfortable on the Tour.




Cameron Norrie (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Cameron Norrie had the pressure of being the British No.1 at Wimbledon this year and now even more eyes will be on him following his milestone win. 


The world No.12 defeated Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, in his fourth round match on Sunday to reach the last eight of a major for the first time at the age of 26. In doing so he remains the only home player left in the singles draw of either men’s or women’s draws. Heather Watson lost her last 16 match earlier in the day to Jule Niemeier 6-2, 6-4.

“To play the way I did and to handle the occasion, I felt really comfortable the way I was hitting the ball this morning. Definitely more comfortable than my other matches.” Said Norrie.
“It was good to get through that one in the fashion that I did. I was up the whole match, which definitely helped.”

Norrie’s run is the best by a British man at The All England Club since Andy Murray back in 2017. He is coached on the Tour by Facundo Lugones who first got acquainted with him at college in America. The two were teammates with Lugones being a senior and Norrie a freshman. Last year he achieved a win-loss record of 52-25 and won the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells.

A solid top 20 player on the Tour, Norrie’s popularity back home is steadily increasing. Even more so in recent days due to Wimbledon. Now he is the last Brit standing there is added pressure but he is taking it all in his stride.

“I’m the last one standing. But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me,” he said. “Even the atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarterfinal of a slam. I wanted to get it done there. They definitely helped me a lot.”

Norrie will be hoping the crowd will out in full force for his upcoming clash with former top 10 player David Goffin who defeated Francis Tiafoe in five sets. Goffin has reached the quarter-finals of a major on three previous occasions, including Wimbledon three years ago.

“He’s a very experienced player. He really likes the grass. He’s played a lot of big matches. It’s going to be tough,” Norrie previewed.
“He’s a great competitor, a really good athlete. He’s got a very complete game. He must be playing very well, so it’s going to be a tricky one.’
“One thing for sure, I know that I’m going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He’s not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It’s going to be another physical match, which is great for me.”
“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s going to be another huge challenge.”

The only time Norrie played Goffin was last year in Barcelona when Goffin was forced to retire from their match in the second set. 

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Roger Federer Hopes To Play One Last Wimbledon As Icons Mark Center Court Anniversary

The Swiss Maestro said it is ‘great to be back’ after attending a special centenary event alongside other greats of the sport.




Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

On the 100th anniversary of Center Court, a special celebration took place on Sunday that saw the return of Roger Federer.

Past and present champions congregated on the premier court during a special 30-minute presentation with a couple of notable absences. Nine-time winner Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras were absent. Each walking on one by one, the biggest cheer occurred when it was Federer’s turn to take to the stage.

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a professional match since his quarter-final loss at SW19 12 months ago due to knee surgery. He has already outlined his plans to return to action later this season at the Laver Cup and Swiss indoors. Speaking on court, Federer said he hopes to play at Wimbledon again as he unexpectedly hints at retiring in the near future. 


“I’ve been lucky to play a lot of matches here. Different type of role, but it’s great to be here. This court has given me my biggest moments,” said Federer.
“I hope I can come back one more time.”
“I’ve missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.
“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis. We’re happy at home. I didn’t know if I should make the trip but I’m happy standing here right now.”

Federer is the only man in history to have ever won the Wimbledon title eight times and was undefeated between 2003-2007. 

One player closing in on that record is Novak Djokovic who is seeking to win his seventh title this year. Speaking about Center Court, the Serbian said the venue has a special place in his heart that dates back to his childhood.

“This court has been truly special from my childhood and the first image of tennis I’ve seen when I was four or five-years-old I saw Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon,” said Djokovic.
“This is where dreams come true and I was blessed in 2011, probably the highlight of my career, to win the tournament and so when I step out on this court I relive these memories. Truly an honor.”

As for the female champions of the tournament, Venus Williams, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Margaret Court were all in attendance. So was Billie Jean King who is the co-founder of the WTA Tour and has won all three Wimbledon events on multiple occasions (singles – 6, doubles – 10, and mixed doubles – 4). 

“I played my very first match at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. We started late so I had two days on this court. It was magical and wonderful and I knew I belonged here,” said King.
“I love history and I love the fact we have so many people here. Martina [Navratilova] could not be with us and she won nine women’s singles so I’d just like to say I’m sorry she can’t be here.”

In 1922 Center court was officially opened for the first time after taking just nine months to construct. At the time it was the largest-ever reinforced concrete structure. The addition of a roof didn’t occur until 2009.

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