Read & Watch: Anderson Flips Rivalry Against Dimitrov
Kevin Anderson walked on Centre Court on Friday in Toronto having lost six of his seven FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Grigor Dimitrov. But none of those matches came after 2016, and the South African has turned into a different player since then.
So it was not a shocker that Anderson beat the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup.
Anderson continues to tally more accomplishments during his breakthrough campaign, reaching his sixth tour-level semi-final of the season, and his second at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. The 6'8" right-hander maintains the momentum from his run to the Wimbledon final, his second Grand Slam championship match.
"It was definitely a great match today," said Anderson. "I felt I played really well right from the beginning. I think I played some really good tennis in the last couple of matches, just not from the start... I felt I was in a really good frame of mind, playing the kind of tennis that I knew I wanted to be playing and needed to be playing."
The 32-year-old had made the quarter-finals in three of his past four Rogers Cup appearances, but never advanced further. Anderson is into the last four at the Canadian Masters 1000 event for the first time, bringing his record at the event to 16-8.
To do so, he won 81 per cent of his first-serve points and did not face a break point in the match. The fourth seed hit 12 aces en route to his 11th Top 5 win.
"He deserves for sure all the credit for the match," Dimitrov said. "He was able to keep a good, I mean, unbelievable level throughout the whole match. So there was not much for me to do. I tried as hard as I can, but [I] couldn't get into a rally too much."
"After having a good first set, it's always nice to continue that momentum to the second set," said Anderson. "Starting off like that was really important for me and then backing up with my serve the next few games really put me in a really good position. Of course, getting the second break made it a little bit more comfortable serving out the match."
Did You Know?
The World No. 6 broke into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 12 October 2015 for one week. But on 19 February of this year, he cracked the elite group again and has remained there ever since.