Gut­ted yet pleased, Anderson hopes to build on loss

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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