Anderson Into Vienna Final, Closes On London Spot | ATP World Tour

Anderson Into Vienna Final, Closes On London Spot | ATP World Tour

Kevin Anderson took a big step towards making his Nitto ATP Finals debut on Saturday, beating Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the Erste Bank Open 500 final.

The South African, just three victories short of his personal best 2015 season (46), landed 19 aces and won 77 per cent of first-serve points to overcome his Spanish opponent after two hours and 26 minutes. If Anderson is able to capture his fifth tour-level crown on Sunday, he will become the sixth man confirm his position at The O2 in London from 11-18 November.

Anderson is enjoying his best season yet on the ATP World Tour with five championship match appearances (1-3). The Wimbledon finalist also reduces his FedEx ATP Head2Head deficit against Verdasco to 4-5.

Rio de Janeiro runner-up Verdasco was aiming to reach his second tour-level final of the season. The 34-year-old Spaniard lifted his seventh and most recent tour-level trophy at 2016 Bucharest.

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An early break of serve proved the key for Anderson in the opening set. The South African charged into a 3-0 lead and, despite Verdasco’s marked improvement on serve, soon clinched a one-set advantage. In a tense ninth game, Anderson needed big serving in important moments before converting his third set point.

In a sequence of three consecutive service breaks, Verdasco made much-needed progress on his return in the second set. Having dropped serve just once in 29 games this week, Anderson was unable to manufacture free points as Verdasco rifled a backhand winner to secure a second break and soon levelled the match in the following game.

Failing to convert five break-point opportunities earlier in the set could have proved crucial, but Anderson returned with real intent as Verdasco served to stay in the match at 4-5. The 32-year-old connected on back-to-back returns and dominated rallies with his forehand to confirm victory on his first match point.

Did You Know?
This week, Verdasco reached 30 tour-level victories for the first time since 2012. The Spaniard achieved the feat in nine consecutive years from 2004 and 2012.

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