Kevin Anderson of South Africa hits a forehand against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy at the US Open tennis tournament on Sunday. Picture: USA TODAY/GEOFF BURKE
Kevin Anderson of South Africa hits a forehand against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy at the US Open tennis tournament on Sunday. Picture: USA TODAY/GEOFF BURKE

SA’s Kevin Anderson will meet American Sam Querrey for a place in the US Open semifinals after the pair advanced to the last eight on Sunday.

Anderson is enjoying a fine northern hemisphere summer, having made it to Wimbledon’s last 16 and to his first ATP final in two years‚ at the Citi Open in Washington in August.

At Wimbledon‚ Anderson lost a five-set thriller to Querrey‚ who went on to make the semifinals. The friends are set for a rematch in New York on Wednesday when the American became the first male home quarterfinalist in six years.

Anderson also made the US Open quarterfinals in 2015.

"It feels great‚" said Anderson. "Obviously getting here in this position a couple of years ago was a very valuable experience. At this stage of tournaments‚ it means a lot.

"It was such a close match — towards the end all my focus was just getting through the match. I didn’t really even think of the stage of the tournament. It feels great right now‚ matching my best result here. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis. My body’s healthy. It was a pretty tough loss at the beginning of this year with a few injuries.

"Right now there are a few aches and pains‚ but every tennis player has that. I’m glad to accept that."

On Sunday night the 28th seed advanced by beating Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 6-3 6-7 6-4 to set up a return date with Querrey. The American was too good for Germany’s Mischa Zverev‚ winning their clash in straight sets‚ blasting his opponent off court 6-2 6-2 6-1 in just more than an hour.

The 2.03m-tall Anderson has used his blistering serve to devastating effect during the tournament. Before Lorenzi broke his serve in the third set‚ the South African had gone 55 service games in the tournament without dropping his serve.

He partially lost a toenail during the 2hr 57min match‚ but he said it would not be a problem going into the clash against Querrey. "I lost some of the toenail, which is just from a lot of stopping and starting on the court‚" Anderson said.

"It wasn’t painful because you are out there with so much adrenalin pumping that you feel fine‚ but afterwards I battled to put a shoe on.

"But it’ll be fine. I’ll tape it up and will be good to go for the next match."

It is the second time in three years that Anderson is into the last eight in New York and after an injury-plagued 2016 he has never had a better shot at making the final.

Querrey has enjoyed a good season but the No17 seed is the second-highest ranked player remaining in the bottom half of the draw. No1 seed‚ Rafael Nadal‚ No3 Roger Federer‚ No6 Dominic Thiem‚ No9 David Goffin and No24 seed and former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro are all still in the top half of the draw.

It means a finalist will come from either Anderson‚ Querrey‚ Spain’s No12 seed Pablo Carreno Busta or Argentina’s No29 seed Diego Schwartzman.

"Our sport has been dominated by a small‚ select group of players for so long that it feels a bit different‚" Anderson said.

"Most other sports have multiple people contending every week‚ but we have had some of the greatest players of all time playing together for some time."

He did not plan any big changes to when he last played Querrey in 2017.


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