Anderson prevails in super-sized shootout

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-07 07:18

NEW YORK - Kevin Anderson moved into his first Grand Slam semifinal at age 31, emerging from a back-and-forth shootout between big servers to beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7) in a marathon that stretched to the wee hours of Wednesday.

The 28th-seeded Anderson, a South African, is appearing in his 34th major tournament.

His victory against the 17th-seeded Querrey concluded a little before 2 am in front of a sparse crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium - and it did not come easily.

"Getting through feels absolutely fantastic," Anderson said.

The 6-foot-8 (2.03m) Anderson finished with 22 aces; the 6-foot-6 (1.98m) Querrey fired 20.

Anderson trailed 5-2 in the opening tiebreaker before collecting the next five points to claim it.

He fought back from a 6-1 deficit in the second tiebreaker to move within a point of winning it 8-7 before eventually succumbing on Querrey's eighth set point.

Anderson prevails in super-sized shootout

"That was really tough," said Anderson.

The third set was more straightforward with Anderson breaking to go ahead 4-2, then serving it out, closing with a down-the-line forehand winner.

There was more drama in the fourth, when Querrey fought off a match point at 6-5, then held a set point at 7-6 with a chance to send it to a fifth.

But Querrey wouldn't win another point, as Anderson reeled off the last three to end the match after nearly four hours.

Querrey was attempting to become the first American man to reach the final four at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick was runner-up in 2006.

The 29-year-old Californian had never been a semifinalist at a major until his 42nd appearance, at Wimbledon in July. That set a record for most attempts before getting that far in the Open era.

Anderson will take on 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in Friday's semifinal, with the winner advancing to his first Grand Slam final.

Busta reached the semis on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory over No 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

The Spaniard easily handled his first match of the tournament against an opponent who was not a qualifier.

Busta traveled a tame path to the quarters, becoming the first man to face four qualifiers in a Grand Slam tournament during the Open era, which began in 1968. He didn't drop a set against any of those opponents and stayed perfect against Schwartzman while appearing in his second Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Busta also reached the quarters in the French Open in June, but had to retire in his match against eventual champion Rafael Nadal because of an abdominal injury that forced him to miss Wimbledon.

Associated Press

(China Daily 09/07/2017 page22)

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