Gutted yet pleased, Anderson hopes to build on loss
KEVIN ANDERSON (right) says don’t count him out just yet even after an impressive two-week run to his first Grand Slam final ended in failure by losing to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.
“I’d love to build on these two weeks,” Anderson said. “It was very difficult, but I was able to find my way all the way into the finals. I’ll work very hard to hopefully give myself another opportunity.
Sad yet bolstered, an Anderson who has worked to be more emotional in matches was of two minds after finishing.
“It’s a bit of both. It’s a tough loss, but it was obviously a great experience,” Anderson said. “A lot of talk about enjoying the experience and stuff. It was very tough, but definitely a part of that were a few moments that were pretty special.
“There were a few lessons I learned from him. When I reflect back in the next little while, I think a lot of the good memories will definitely surface.”
Anderson is pushing to display more emtion in matches, although he’s a long way from the most flamboyant fist-pumpers on tour.
“Maybe it is a bit more natural for me now. When I’m going out there, it doesn’t feel as forced. I’m not thinking about it as much,” Anderson said.
“Tennis is very mental and I have definitely proved to myself it’s something I can rely on. I’ve always been a tough competitor. I’ve always fought. This is just adding an element, something I will definitely be continuing with.”
Anderson had never reached a Slam semifinal before this week let alone a title match. His best prior Slam run was to the 2015 US Open quarterfinals.
Anderson was the oldest firsttime Slam finalist since 33-year-old Yugoslavian Niki Pilic at the 1973 French Open.
He was the first South African in the US Open final since Cliff Drysdale in 1965 and in any Slam since Kevin Curren at the 1984 Australian Open.
At 32nd in the rankings, Anderson was the lowest-ranked finalist in US Open history, eclipsing 22nd-ranked Australian Mark Philippoussis from 1998.
With his run to the finals, Anderson will jump to 15th in today’s new rankings. – AFP