Kevin Anderson sets up US Open clash with teen sensation Shapovalov
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson will face a tough test at the US Open when he takes on rising star Denis Shapovalov in the third round after both moved through round two on Thursday morning (SA time).
Anderson‚ 32‚ the No.5 seed cruised past France’s Jeremy Chardy in straight sets winning 6-2‚ 6-4‚ 6-4‚ in 1 hour and 55 minutes at Flushing Meadows.
It was a much easier day at the office for the giant South African after his a five-set battle in round one against American Ryan Harrison. And it’s probably just as well that he had an easier day‚ given that Shapovalov is 13 years Anderson’s junior.
The Canadian left-hander‚ seeded 28‚ who is considered one of the brightest new talents in the game‚ needed five sets to oust Italy’s Andreas Seppi to set up a meeting with Anderson.
Shapovalov plays with little fear and his aggressive strategy of going for winners and punishing the ball at almost every opportunity against Seppi never wavered on his way to a 6-4‚ 4-6‚ 5-7‚ 7-6‚ 6-4 win. He hit 55 winners‚ but also made 76 unforced errors.
Anderson though appears to be hitting his stride now after that shaky first-round encounter when he struggled with cramps in the sweltering conditions at Flushing Meadows.
Anderson arrowed in 18 aces and hit 39 winners with only 22 unforced errors against Chardy. Anderson converted four of nine break points and never allowed Chardy a single break point in the match.
The heat and humidity has been a focal point of this year’s tournament and several players have complained about scheduling considering the uncomfortable conditions.
Anderson though‚ just attended to business against the big-serving Chardy‚ dropping only six points on his own serve in the first set.
“It was pretty hot out here today. The ball was flying around a bit‚” said Anderson.
“The last game was obviously a little tricky‚ but overall‚ I played a great match. It’s always tough playing Jeremy. He’s a great friend of mine.”
Anderson‚ the 2017 US Open runner-up‚ is heading closer to a showdown with No 1 seed Rafa Nadal in a repeat of last year’s final.
The Spaniard advanced to round three with a commanding 6-3‚ 6-4‚ 6-2 win over Canadian Vasek Pospisil. Nadal and Anderson will meet in the quarterfinals if the draw goes to seeding.
"Winning in straight sets is always important‚ especially in these conditions‚" Nadal said on court afterwards.
Players have been allowed to take breaks after two sets for the women and after three sets for the men‚ if the match is ongoing‚ but conditions are expected to cool down over the coming days.
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