By Dave Gertler
(August 7, 2014) TORONTO – Big-serving South African Kevin Anderson has made the most of relatively cold and gusty conditions to upset 3rd seed Stanislas Wawrinka in their Rogers Cup round-of-16 match on Thursday. This is the second straight win Anderson has had over Wawrinka since the Swiss 29-year-old won the Australian Open in January.
“I’m very happy,” said Anderson to media, appearing fresh and unruffled by their one-hour, 44-minute exchange, “Any time beating one of the best guys in the world is a great feeling. Obviously it’s a big challenge walking out there.”
Both players exchanged breaks early on their way to a first-set tie-break, in which both players had set points, Anderson claiming it 10-8. “After going down that early break (in the first set),” said Anderson, “Stan gave me a couple of double faults and just allowed me back in the match, and from there, I thought I served really, really well. I couldn’t be more happy on that front.”
Anderson increased his first-serve percentage in the second set to 75%, serving 7 aces along the way, keeping the pressure firmly on Wawrinka’s service games. “When I’m taking care of my serve games,” said Anderson, “It just allows me to relax a little bit more, and I thought I did a good job especially in the second, when I wasn’t getting too many looks on his serve. Sometimes in the past, I’ve let that frustrate me a little bit, and today I just let it go, and stayed focused on my serve game.”
“I had some chance,” said Wawrinka, showing minimal alarm at his early exit to the unseeded world No.21, “I had set point. I had two, three times 0-30, and the chance I didn’t took, it was more about choosing the right shot to play. Did some mistake that I shouldn’t do, and that’s happened.”
In general, I’m feeling great,” said Wawrinka, who will now leave Toronto for Cincinnati to compete at the Western & Southern Open next week, “I’m feeling physically good. I’m moving well. I’m playing well. It’s just that I need more matches to be really at the top.”
Anderson will contest his first career quarterfinal in Canada against Grigor Dimitrov.
Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament on @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler, read his blog, and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .