Kevin Anderson booked his spot in the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Adrian Mannarino on Monday.
This is the first time since 2015 that Anderson has progressed past the first round (he suffered a shock loss to Kyle Edmund in 2016 and did not play in 2017).
He had to overcome a second-set stumble, dropping his serve twice from a break up against the French world No 41, before prevailing in two hours 53 minutes at the Melbourne Arena.
‘It was really hot out here. I thought we were going to hit the heat rule, but no luck,’ said Anderson, who faces American Frances Tiafoe in the next round. The 20-year-old Tiafoe beat Indian qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-3.
‘I was up a break in that second set and just let it get away a little bit,’ he added. ‘I was happy with the way I was able to reset.’
In-form Anderson warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his sixth ATP title at Pune earlier this month, defeating Ivo Karlovic in the final.
‘Every day I push myself to get better and better,’ said the man who lost to Rafael Nadal in the 2017 US Open final.
‘You’ve got to come out here and win the match. It is a difficult challenge, but that is what it is all about.’
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