US-based SA tennis ace Kevin Anderson. Picture: WIMBLEDON/TWITTER
US-based SA tennis ace Kevin Anderson. Picture: WIMBLEDON/TWITTER

SA tennis star Kevin Anderson says he is fit and ready as he prepares to make an 11th appearance at the US Open in New York next week.

The former world No 5 has battled with various injuries over the past two years, which saw his ranking fall as low as 146th at the beginning of 2020. They have prevented Johannesburg-born Anderson from progressing beyond the third round at a Grand Slam since 2018.

“The excitement of playing in Grand Slams is still highest on my list, and I still have the belief in myself to go out there and try to win the tournament,” Anderson said . “I feel I'm playing really good tennis at the moment, so I’m excited to see how far I can go in the tournament.”

The US Open has been Anderson’s best tournament on the top-flight circuit in his lengthy career, with the big-serving South African reaching the quarterfinals in 2015 and progressing to the final in 2017, when he finished runner-up to Spanish icon Rafael Nadal.

Having slipped to No 75 in the world, however, he enters the hard courts of Flushing Meadows without a seeding. While he admits he faces a challenge climbing back to the top, Anderson is eager to prove he can still mix it with the best.

“As long as I feel like I have a shot, this is what I want to do and what I’m most passionate about,” he said. “The last couple of years have been trying, and it has been a challenge with the injuries, but fortunately for the last good while it has been going better.

“The most important thing is that the desire and enjoyment are still there. That’s what keeps me going.”

Anderson will be joined by countryman Lloyd Harris in the main singles draw at the US Open taking place between August 30 and September 12.

Raven Klaasen and his Japanese partner Ben McLachlan will be in action in the doubles event.