Tennis Tuesday: Anderson, the Dark Horse in London Race

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Updated: October 6, 2015

Four spots remain for the curtain closer at the O2 Arena in London, and a certain South African could make his debut. 

 

‘Tennis Tuesday’ is a weekly column by Jamie Davies on the Let’s Talk Sport website taking a look at a different angle each week.

 

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka are okay to spread the word of competing at the spectacular ATP World Tour Finals.

 

Of course, these are names which are usually expected to qualify and finish in the top eight but there is no confirmation for 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or Milos Raonic.

 

This year’s race is looking to be the closest and edge of seat stuff.


 

ATP Rankings – Race to London

5) Tomas Berdych – 4,100 points

6) Kei Nishikori – 3,770 points

7) Rafael Nadal – 3,715 points

8) David Ferrer – 3,255 points

9) Richard Gasquet – 2,355 points

10) Kevin Anderson – 2,205 points

11) John Isner – 2,180 points

12) Milos Raonic – 2,080 points

13) Marin Cilic – 2,055 points


 

When you take a look at the current rankings from fifth spot to, last year’s US Open champion, Marin Cilic (13) there are nine contenders remaining with a mathematical chance.

 

Realistically though, there happens to be quite a gap between David Ferrer (8) and Richard Gasquet (9) but let’s not forget the possibility of Murray pulling out from the competition due to the Davis Cup final taking centre stage a few days after.

 

If this situation was to happen then the likes of the French No. 1 and Anderson have a late shoutout.

 

Yes, Gasquet has experience competing at the World Tour Finals but maybe fans of the sport would like to see some new blood for a change.

 

Anderson would be the perfect man to fill in those shoes after the season we have witnessed.


 

Kevin Anderson’s Profile

Age: 29 (May 18, 1986)

Turned pro: 2007

Height: 6’8″

Weight: 197 lbs (89kg)

Plays: Right handed, two-handed backhand


 

 

The 29-year-old had a rough few months at the beginning of the season before making it all the way to the Queen’s Club final in June. Murray came out on top that day but coming runner-up in a ATP 500 tournament gives you a boost in the world rankings.

 

A few weeks after the Queen’s defeat, Anderson found himself on the same court as the Wimbledon champion Djokovic. It was a strong performance by going two sets up but the end of day break seemed costly for the South African when the Serb fought back to win in five sets.

 

This improvement and hard work in Anderson’s game started to pay off starting with an ATP title win in the Winston-Salem Open along with 250 points.

 

But Anderson’s best achievement so far in 2015 was reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open by seeking revenge on Murray. The emotion and feeling inside Anderson the moment Murray’s return had struck the net just showed the seriousness and ‘watch out’ kind of attitude the fellow players should note.


 

Jamie’s Top 8 Predictions

1) Novak Djokovic

2) Roger Federer

3) Stanislas Wawrinka

4) Tomas Berdych

5) Rafael Nadal

6) Kei Nishikori

7) David Ferrer

8) Kevin Anderson


 

You may have noticed no Murray on the list, it is highly unlikely the British No. 1 will appear at the 02 Arena when the schedule wraps up just days before heading to Belgium for his Great Britain duty.

 

So, if this scenario is to happen this will open the door for Anderson to strike which will mean entering as much tournaments as possible to pick up crucial points.

 

It is looking like a two horse race between Anderson and Gasquet but one thing to remember, the race is in Murray’s hands.


 

 

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