For Kevin Anderson, Vienna title is double joy: his first ATP500 & first London finale
Kevin Anderson wins his first ATP500 title and books place in World Tour Finals in London after winning in Vienna
He may have reached two Major finals in the last 18 months, but the 32-year-old Kevin Anderson capped his best ever season in Austria this weekend to win his biggest title, his first ATP500, with victory over Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 7-6(3).
But the win also represented another huge step in Anderson’s tennis career: It sealed his first qualification for the season finale in London, the Nitto ATP Finals, making him the fourth oldest first-time qualifier.
Appearing in his fifth final of the season, Anderson won his second title of the year to become the first singles player from South Africa in 23 years to reach the ATP Finals, where he will join Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev among the elite eight in the world.
He was rightly delighted:
“It’s been a huge goal of mine all year to make London. I’ve said that right from the beginning, so to finally put my name there, it feels fantastic.”
Anderson has now finished five of the past six seasons in the top 20. His previous best finish came in 2015, when he was year-end No12. But after breaking into the top 10 in October 2015, he was side-lined by injuries, and dropped to No80 at the start of 2017. Then, with his run to the final at Wimbledon, he rose to a high of No5, and will be back at No6 ahead of the Paris Masters next week.
And that is where all eyes will now turn as the small handful of players still with a chance of London qualification gather to try and get over the line.
Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem leads the race to claim the last two spots, but Nishikori and John Isner will also be pushing hard in Paris for their place in London.
Race to London
1. Rafael Nadal
2. Novak Djokovic
3. Roger Federer
4. Juan Martin del Potro
5. Alexander Zverev
6. Kevin Anderson
Still in the Race
7. Marin Cilic
8. Dominic Thiem
9. Kei Nishikori
10. John Isner