Anderson Wins Vienna, Clinches ATP Finals Spot, Keeps Nishikori Winless Streak Alive
by Staff | October 28th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(3) to win the biggest title of his career on Sunday at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, Austria.
The win clinched him a spot for the first time at the year-ending ATP Finals, leaving two spots open going into the final regular-season event of the year, the Paris Masters.

“It has been a huge goal of mine all year to make it to London. I have said that right from the beginning,” said Anderson. “To finally put my name there feels fantastic.”

He improved to 2-3 in finals this year after the 32-year-old won the inaugural New York Open in February. His fifth career title marks his first outside the ATP 250 level.

“It has been a long time coming,” he said. “Any time you make a final, you want to put the history behind you and it was always going to be a tough match. I was up against an unbelievable opponent in Kei and I really had to play some amazing tennis. I couldn’t be more pleased to have kept at it and finally broken through at this level.”

Nishikori is still in the running for a year-end championships spot, and lost his ninth consecutive final since winning at Memphis in 2016.

After a long first few games Anderson finally broke for a 3-1 lead.

“We were playing for 30 minutes and there had only been four games. It was really important [to get the break] and also be able to consolidate that and go up 4-1,” said Anderson. “There was still so much tennis to play from that moment but it was obviously a very important moment in the match.”

After closing out the first set, Anderson brought the second set to a tiebreak where his big serving made the difference.

Nishikori fell to 11-14 in career finals, also losing this year at Tokyo and Monte Carlo. Last year he was 0-2 in finals.

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6 Comments for Anderson Wins Vienna, Clinches ATP Finals Spot, Keeps Nishikori Winless Streak Alive

chris ford1 Says:

It is great to see how Kevin Anderson has improved his game. Reminds me of David Ferrer and Mardy Fish, who became far better players in their later years. He is well regarded as a person, as well. A much bigger title is possible for him after his 1st 500 title. Everyone knows that.

J-Kath Says:

CF1: Agree, Kevin is a very decent guy. He’ll continue to be a strong competitor at all levels. He’s often still listed as RSA but I thought he’d taken American citizenship.

chris ford1 Says:

Kevin’s wife is American, and he met her at the University of Illinois, where he was a standout athlete in the NCAA. He got US citizenship and didn’t have to illegally cross the Border and drop an anchor baby to do so. He said he will always love South Africa, but was happy to officially become an American. Like many athletes from other lands who live and work in the USA, he kept his “sports affiliation” and likely his Olympic affiliation, with his native country.

I like that about tennis. Past the handful of “stars”, the ranks are full of wonderful people with lives, character and athletic performance worth cheering for. Many with success in other fields. Even the long suffering journeyman can have their moment when people say “Man, what a great guy!” Like John Milman. Cinderella tales like Bartoli and Francesca Schiavone. The disabled accommodated. The “artistes” like Monfils. The fact that some players showing up at Slams hoping to get past the 2nd round get grabbed to be a last minute substitute on a doubles team and get to the Finals, even walk out with a trophy and some nice money.

J-Kath Says:

chris ford 1: Thanks for the reminder that his wife is American. Not to be cynical, but given the value of the RSA Rand, I’m not surprised that he’s become officially American. His “Olympic affiliation” would not affect his income whichever country he represented – however, one could argue that his loyalty should be to the US no matter how much he loves his native country.

Ronn Says:

Exactly, Chris. We need more immigrants like Kevin in this country. It’s called SELECTIVE immigration. Almost every other country has it so why don’t we? Let’s stop being a dumping ground for other countries’ unwanted.

SG1 Says:

Nice win for Anderson but I feel for Kei. It’s not easy getting to a tour final. Getting there 9 times in a row and losing every time? For a player as good as he is, it’s almost unthinkable. Anderson is actually a decent match up for Kei so not even getting it to three sets? Hopefully he can apply the Halep cure and get over the hump.

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