15 April 2013
South Africa’s leading tennis player, Kevin Anderson, narrowly missed out on winning his third career ATP World Tour title when he went down to Spain’s Tommy Robredo in the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca on Sunday.
The lanky South African star, seeded second, was seeking his first clay court title after two previous titles on hard courts in the South African Open in Johannesburg and the Delray Beach International in Florida.
Truth be told, he’ll look back on Sunday’s contest as a missed opportunity after Robredo secured a hard-fought 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 victory.
Anderson led 4-1 in the first set but ended up losing it in a tie-breaker. After winning the second set 6-4, he fell behind in the third, but had three opportunities to break back at 5-3 down, with a chance to then level matters on his serve. He let it slip and Robredo, a clay court specialist, secured his first title in two years.
After his loss in Casablanca, Anderson told the ATP World Tour he let a win get away.
“I thought I was in control of the match,” he said. “I had a lot of chances in the first set.
“I played a loose game to give the break back. And then in the tie-break at six- all, I played two loose points.
“I came back and did well in the second. In the third, I had some good momentum, but after suddenly being up, I was down a break. I gave myself some chances to get back in the match.
“Obviously I’m not too happy with the errors I made on those two break points, but there are a lot of positives, which is the main thing I got to look at, as disappointing as it was not to have won it.
“It’s a good start for me on clay. There are still a lot of tournaments,” he concluded.
After reaching the Casablanca final, Anderson’s world ranking is up to a career best 26th.
Earlier this year, Anderson made it to the final of the Sydney International, but was beaten by Bernard Tomic in the title-decider. Shortly after that, after reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open, he underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove loose bone fragments.
In four tournaments since his return, Anderson has exhibited encouraging form, reaching one final and making the quarter-finals twice. His list of victories includes defeats of world number four David Ferrer and world number 13 Gilles Simon.
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