LONG ISLAND, February 18, 2018
The top two seeds of the New York Open will square off in Sunday’s singles final of the ATP 250 event. The tournament’s No. 1, Kevin Anderson, fought past Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 in the evening match on Saturday.
The 31-year-old from South Africa fired 23 aces, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to secure victory in two hours and 11 minutes.
“I thought I got off to a great start. Kei gave me a few freebies in the beginning, but I still had to stay focused. I knew in the second set he was going to raise his level, which he did,” Anderson said.
“I’m just really pleased right now. I think anytime you can get a win over someone like Kei is a great match, a great result. He’s really a high quality player. I’m just really excited to be in the finals here, with the chance to play for the title tomorrow.”
Querrey Overcomes Mannarino
Anderson will face Sam Querrey for the title. The No. 2 seeded US-American turned around a streak of five consecutive sets lost against Adrian Mannarino of France. Querrey rallied past the left-hander 6-7, 7-5, 6-3, converting four of his seven break point chances to prevail in just under two hours of play.
“That guy (Mannarino) has always been so tricky and that’s my first time beating him. It feels good. I’m so happy to get through that and be in the finals. Really excited,” Querrey commented.
“He (Mannarino) is left handed, he’s crafty. He keeps the ball so low. The ball is at my ankles half the time, so it’s tough to be aggressive off his shots. Match up wise, sometimes you don’t match up well against someone, and I don’t think I match up pretty good with him.
“He broke me in the first set, halfway through, and it maybe rattled me a little bit on the serve. He’s a good returner so that’s tricky as well. Serving is kind of a rhythm thing and it can take you thirty minutes to find that good rhythm and that’s kind of what happened.
“Outside of that one game in the third (set) where I saved break point, every game was pretty routine, I thought. I think I served over 70%. I was really happy with how I served.”
Anderson and Querrey will meet for the 16th time with the US-American leading 8-7 in head-to-head records.
“I think it’s a very tough opponent,” Anderson said. “I played Sam many, many times. He’s a very, very dangerous player. We’ve had a lot of close matches. I’m expecting another one tomorrow, but as you said, I’m really happy to be through to the finals here.”