Fifteen years after playing in his first ever professional tournament, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson has qualified for his maiden World Tour Finals. In doing so, he has become the first from his country since Wayne Ferreira to make it through to this prestigious year-ending tournament.
Anderson, who won the Vienna Open title last week by beating Kei Nishikori, rose to number six in the ATP Rankings, behind only the trio of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev on points.
And with del Potro having withdrawn from the ATP Finals because of fitness issues, Anderson enters that tournament with the likelihood of being seeded fifth. Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem are also in with a chance to make it through to that tournament.
Anderson’s success can be attributed to his recent run of form that has seen him make it to the final of two Grand Slam tournaments in successive years – the 2017 US Open and the 2018 Wimbledon. He lost both times, but Anderson also entered the quarter-finals of five of the Masters tournaments played this year and was the semi-finalist in two of them – the Madrid Masters and the Canada Masters.
Incidentally the Vienna Open title was his first tournament win over the ATP 250 rung of competitions and made him the fourth-oldest debutant at the World Tour Finals.
The South African hadn’t had the best of starts to the season when he was ousted in the opening round at the Australian Open earlier this year, but quarter-finals at the Indian Wells and Miami Masters looked to have paved way to a better end.
A Wimbledon finals defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic did not stop Anderson from moving to the fifth spot in the rankings, the best ever of his career so far. He was then sent out in round four at the US Open, but he entered the Vienna Open having made the quarter-finals at the Shanghai Masters.
And now, having qualified for the World Tour Finals, an elated Anderson said he felt proud to have qualified for his first ever year-ending tournament.
I can’t quite put into words how it feels to qualify for my first @ATPWorldTour Finals. The hard work this year isn’t over yet but wow this moment feels great! Looking forward to making some more great memories in London soon 😄 pic.twitter.com/8QDQTRWVm2
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) October 28, 2018