Kevin Anderson became the first South African singles player in 23 years to qualify for the ATP Finals after defeating Kei Nishikori in the Erste Bank Open final on Sunday.
This year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist saw off the Japanese fifth seed 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) to join Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at the London event next month.
The final two spots will be determined at the Paris Masters starting Monday, with Nishikori still in with a shout of making the elite eight-player cast list.
The last South African singles player to make it to the season-closing showpiece was Wayne Ferreira in 1995.
Anderson was ecstatic after reaching the ATP Finals: ‘It has been a huge goal of mine all year to make it to London. I have said that right from the beginning. To finally put my name there feels fantastic’.
Anderson claimed his second title of the season, after victory at the New York Open earlier this year, and played in five finals.
‘It means a lot. It has been a long time coming … any time you make a final, you want to put the history behind you and it was always going to be a tough match,’ said Anderson.
‘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.’
Anderson also tweeted the following victory after the biggest win of his career:
I can’t quite put into words how it feels to qualify for my first @ATPWorldTour Finals. The hard work this year isn’t over yet but wow this moment feels great! Looking forward to making some more great memories in London soon 😄 pic.twitter.com/8QDQTRWVm2
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) October 28, 2018