Kevin Anderson advanced to the quarterfinals of the Aegon Open after a straight sets win over Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6(6). The South African was playing the former top ten player for the fourth time and was happy to get off the court with a quick victory as the sun was setting in Nottingham.
Despite the tricky conditions towards the end of the match, the 30-year-old was very happy to get through. “I started off really well, took care of my serves and played a great game to break and I came out fighting. Things settled down after that and there were no more breaks for the rest of the match”, he said.
Verdasco is a left handed player, but Anderson felt he dealt well with adapting to his game style, “it’s always an adjustment, but you try and prepare by warming up with a leftie and I was fortunate enough to do that today. The ball spins a little differently, but once you get used to it after a couple of games the match goes on as normal.”
Playing on an outside court at the Nottingham Tennis Centre
As the players reached the end of the second set the sun began to set over Court 4, where the players match had been moved to. Anderson’s coach, Neville Godwin, criticized the court, saying that it was facing the wrong direction in terms of the placement of the sun and that it was not an ATP standard court, but the South African had no quarrels with the playing surface.
“The court was good, there was a couple of bad bounces on the baseline in the warm-up, but obviously you’re always going to get that on any grass court, especially as the wear and tear goes on, but I actually thought the baseline was almost in better shape than the one in Centre Court, but it’s probably seen a few less matches”, he said.
“The conditions got very tough towards the end on one side with the sun and at times it was absolutely impossible to see anything. There were a few little distractions, with people walking behind the courts, it’s a little bit different, but you just have to deal with it as it’s the same for both of us. The sun was far more distracting than anything else going on.”
Playing Johnson in the quarterfinals
Anderson will play the American Steve Johnson in the next round, with the South African leading their head to head 4-2. “I’ve played Steve a few times, he’s a very athletic player and a very good server, he controls the court with his forehand. So it’s just about taking care of what I need to do on my side of the court. I was very happy with today’s match, so it’s just about recovering and getting ready to do the same thing tomorrow.”