Kevin Anderson’s Heroics Open Door for either Nadal or Djokovic
Standing over two metres tall and feeling the uncomfortable warmth of the London sun on the No. 1 court, Kevin Anderson looked all but out of Wimbledon as Roger Federer went up two sets. Any spectator wanting to get home to watch England play in a World Cup semifinal a few hours later was in luck as the game looked to be heading to a predictable and swift conclusion.
That wasn’t to be though as the lanky South African rallied to win the next three sets and spring the shock of the tournament so far by knocking the Swiss champion out after staging a miraculous recovery. Federer, the pre-tournament favourite, was going home and that would have been big news to Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal as the Swiss legend looked to be what stood between them and winning Wimbledon.
Obviously, there can only be one winner and, with Djokovic squaring up against Nadal in the other semifinal, there is a feeling that this may well be the actual final. That isn’t to say Kevin Anderson or even John Isner don’t stand a chance against the two; anything can happen, as was seen when Anderson derailed the FedExpress. However, given the pedigree both Djokovic and Nadal have, you would be hard-pressed to call another upset happening in the final.
As the momentum is on Anderson’s side, it looks likely that the man from the rainbow nation will make it to his first ever Wimbledon final. Overall, Anderson has been trending in the right direction over the past few seasons and it was just last year at the US Open that he made it to the final. On that occasion, Anderson lost to Nadal in straight sets, which meant that the Spaniard took his record to 5-0 over Anderson. In five meetings, the South African has never beaten Nadal and it doesn’t make for any better reading when considering he may have to face Djokovic instead.
The Serb has played Anderson six times and won on five occasions. When weighing up the record of Anderson against both Djokovic and Nadal, you do get the sense that the door is open for one of them to win another Wimbledon title. Having said that, before Anderson beat Federer, he had lasted all four games against the Swiss; can lightning strike twice?
If the door is ajar in the men’s category for two of the greatest to claim a title, it is blowing wide open and almost off the hinges in the women’s. The American Serena Williams is all set to take her Wimbledon tally to eight titles after putting together a dominant campaign. Questions were asked about whether Williams would be her usual legendary self on the courts of Wimbledon after giving birth last September. The 36-year-old has answered emphatically and, in Wimbledon betting with William Hill, Williams is at evens to triumph at the All England Club.
Saturday and Sunday promise to be days of riveting finals in both categories with some of tennis’ biggest names lining up the most prestigious title in tennis.
The player with the most to gain is Rafa Nadal and you can be sure he went to bed in his London hotel absolutely delighted that his nemesis Federer lost to Anderson. This is purely because of the debate that has raged for most of the year around Federer skipping the clay courts where Nadal, in reality, doesn’t have an equal. It was very much seen as a case of Nadal stepping into Federer’s kingdom at Wimbledon but that all went up in smoke during the quarterfinals.
Now that Federer is out, it certainly has opened the door for Nadal to take a step closer to Federer’s Grand Slam tally. What it will also do is get people talking about who is the greatest of all time and, if Nadal can hold his nerve, he will have done a massive amount to put forward a case that he is the finest to have played the game.
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