Kevin Anderson has captured the attention of the country as the giant South African continues to fire at the US Open in New York.
Less than 24 hours after Bafana Bafana were beaten by Cape Verde in their World Cup Qualifier, South Africans had reason to cheer once more as Anderson became the first player from his country to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Wayne Ferreira achieved the feat in Melbourne in 2003.
The 31-year-old defeated American Sam Querrey 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in their quarter-final clash to book his place in the final four, where he will next face Pablo Carreno Busta. The battle lasted three hours and 26 minutes, and finished just after 02:00 (EST) on Wednesday morning.
Anderson is competing in his 34th Grand Slam, but will be competing in his first-ever semi-final, bettering his last eight finish at Flushing Meadows in 2015.
The 6-foot-8 Anderson is the bookies’ favourite for the match against Busta. The Saint Stithians old boy holds a 2-0 head-to-head win record against the Spaniard, having not even dropped a set in their previous two encounters.
They last faced each other in August at the Masters Series event in Montreal, with Anderson easing to a comfortable 6-3, 7-6 victory. The US Open men’s semi-finals will get underway from 22:00 (UTC) on Friday night, and South Africans the world over are expected to be glued to their screens to cheer the former Johannesburger on.
While Querrey’s loss brought an end to the USA’s participation in the men’s draw, there are plenty of American’s still left in the women’s competition, including Sloane Stephens. The 24-year-old advanced to the semi-finals with a three-set victory over Anastasija Sevastova, but it was her hilarious performance afterwards during the post-match press conference, when she was “attacked” by a “disgusting dragon”, that made headlines.
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