Read & Watch: Anderson Reaches Maiden Wimbledon QF
After winning one set in five previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Kevin Anderson finally scored his first victory over Gael Monfils 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 5-7, 7-6(4) to reach his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday.
"One of my many goals was to try to get a personal-best achievement here," said Anderson. "[I have] lost in the Round of 16 a few times... I can definitely feel good about making it through to the last eight here for the first time."
Anderson landed 20 aces and won 43 net points to become the first South African to reach the quarter-finals at SW19 since Wayne Ferreira in 1994. Anderson improves to 16-9 at Wimbledon, finally advancing beyond the Round of 16 on his fourth attempt at the All England Club after three hours and 29 minutes.
"I've played him a few times. Going in there, there was a little bit of that on my mind, as well, trying to get a win against him," said Anderson. "A little checked box for me there... I knew it was going to be a tough match. He's a really tough competitor, just the way he plays, the way he covers the court really makes life difficult. Getting through [to my] first quarter-final, and also beating him, definitely feels good."
The No. 8 seed has now reached seven quarter-finals at tour-level this year, which includes lifting his fourth ATP World Tour title at the inaugural New York Open in February and runner-up finishes in Pune and Acapulco. Anderson will be aiming to advance to his second Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday, after reaching his first Grand Slam championship match at the US Open last year (l. to Nadal).
Standing between Anderson and the final four will be defending champion Roger Federer. Federer defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his 16th quarter-final at the All England Club. The eight-time champion has won each of his four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Anderson.
"I am really looking forward to it," said Anderson. "Obviously it will be a tough challenge. I think it's a pretty exciting opportunity to play Federer here at Wimbledon..."
With strong tie-break performances, Anderson took a two-set lead over Monfils on No. 1 Court after one hour and 37 minutes. The South African won each of his 11 service points on serve, finding success in both tie-breaks by focussing on the forehand side of his French opponent. Anderson, as he had in the second set, clawed his way back from a break down to reach 5-5, but could not make his way to a third consecutive tie-break as Monfils raised his level to snatch the third set.Memories of 2015, when Anderson led eventual champion Novak Djokovic by two sets to love in the Round of 16, may have begun to creep in, as the No. 8 seed missed seven opportunities to break serve in the fourth set. But Anderson eventually got his breakthrough in the fourth-set tiebreak, playing with consistent aggression and moving up the court on every available opportunity.
Monfils was bidding to become just the second Frenchman to reach the quarter-finals at all four Grand Slam events, alongside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has made at least three quarter-final appearances at each of the four major championships. The Frenchman finally advanced to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon after six previous losses in the third round.
Did You Know?
While representing South Africa, only Johan Kriek (6) and Wayne Ferreira (5) have reached more Grand Slam quarter-finals than Kevin Anderson (3). Anderson is is now also tied third on the list for most appearances at the SW19 before reaching the last-eight stage (10),