LONG ISLAND, February 17, 2018
Two former US Open finalists will go head to head in the semis of the New York Open. In Friday’s night session, top seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa edged past 20-year-old US-American Frances Tiafoe, the youngest player remaining in the draw, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Last year’s runner-up at Flushing Meadows struck 16 aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points to prevail after two hours and four minutes.
“I’m expecting a tough match as always against one of the best players on the tour, so I have to be on top of my game,” Anderson told.
“You just try to reset as much as possible, really try to focus on that point; it sounds a little cliché but there’s nothing else you can do. Obviously I didn’t want to be in that position, but I put all my focus in hitting a good serve and going through my routines. Obviously it worked today, if it didn’t, I’d have to reset, and the more you do that, the better.”
Nishikori Beats Albot
Anderson will next take on 2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori. The No. 5 seed from Japan continued his winning streak in his first ATP World Tour event of the year with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Radu Albot from Moldova. Nishikori capitalized on six of his 12 break point opportunities to finish his quarterfinal encounter after one hour and 57 minutes.
“It was a very tough start, I think he was playing good tennis, stepping up and hitting well, and I think I was doing too much defense in the first set, so he was attacking a little bit. During the second set, I think I was getting my rhythm back and started playing more inside the baseline, and everything started working well. The third set, I think I played some of the best tennis so far, so I was very happy to win today,” Nishikori said.
— New York Open (@NewYorkOpen) 17. Februar 2018
Nishikori leads the head-to-head record with Anderson 4-1.
“It’s going to be a close encounter tomorrow and I’m going to have to play good tennis,” Anderson commented on his next challenge. “Kei’s one of the best movers and takes the ball really early. He’s a class player and is obviously coming back from an injury but he’s been playing quite a few matches the last few weeks, and I think that’s what you need to get back, and I’m sure he’s pretty healthy, and I’m looking forward to the next match.”
In Saturday’s second semi-final, Sam Querrey will take on Adrian Mannarino of France. The No. 2 seed from the United States outlasted Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-6, 7-6. Mannarino beat Spanish qualifier Adrian Menéndez-Maceiras 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.