VIENNA, October 28, 2018
Kevin Anderson booked his place at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time on Sunday, beating Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 7-6(3) to win the biggest title of his career at the Erste Bank Open 500.
The No. 2 seed from South Africa dominated the final in Vienna with his serve, firing 13 aces. Anderson saved both break points he faced and capitalized on one of his own seven chances in the fourth game of the opening set. The 32-year-old Johannesburg native secured victory after one hour and 55 minutes.
Raising the bar 🔝
The moment that @KAndersonATP claimed his first 500-level title in Vienna!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 28. Oktober 2018
By earning the highest-level ATP World Tour singles title of his career, as his four singles championships have all come at ATP World Tour 250 events, Anderson takes away €473,865 in prize money as well as 500 ATP-Ranking points.
“It means a lot. It has been a long time coming … any time you make a final, you want to put the history behind you and it was always going to be a tough match,” said Anderson, who captured his second trophy of the year. “I was up against an unbelievable opponent in Kei and I really had to play some amazing tennis. I couldn’t be more pleased to have kept at it and finally broken through at this level.”
The World No. 8 will appear at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time.
“It has been a huge goal of mine all year to make it to London. I have said that right from the beginning,” said Anderson. “To finally put my name there feels fantastic.”
Nishikori, meanwhile, was searching for his first ATP World Tour singles title since winning at Memphis in 2016.
“It was not a bad match today, but Kevin took a lot of risk and played well,” Nishikori said. “I am disappointed because I missed another chance in a final. But I am in good shape and hope that I can continue to do so. I’ll give 100 percent in Paris next week and then we’ll see what happens.”
British tandem wins doubles trophies
Earlier in the afternoon, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski took their maiden team title.
The all-British combination defeated Mike Bryan from the United States and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6(5), 6-3. The doubles final between two unseeded team ended after one hour and 16 minutes of play.
“It is unbelieveable. I can’t quite believe it,” said Salisbury. “At the start of the week, we weren’t even sure we were going to get in [to the tournament]. I couldn’t quite believe it when I won my first Tour title a month ago in Shenzhen. To win an ATP World Tour 500 now and to have beaten such great teams is incredible.”
More than 60,000 spectators in Vienna
The organizers of the event were pleased with this year’s edition.
“Players gave us a great feedback. Kei Nishikori was thrilled with the city. Mike Bryan has said to me, Vienna is the best tournament ever. Sure, they’re polite, but they mean it like this,” tournament director Herwig Straka told the media on Sunday morning.
“This also has to do with the city of Vienna. The Center Court is one of the best in the world. Spectators were fantastic. The arena was packed even though no Austrian player was in the final.”
More than 60,000 spectators attended the event with a total prize money of €2.788.570 over the last nine days.