Kevin Anderson continued his strong start to the 2020 tennis year when he beat Chile’s No1 player Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3 to deliver South Africa their first ATP Cup tie victory in Brisbane.
The official ATP website reported that the former world No5 dropped only two first-service points and didn’t face a break point against the 23-year-old Garin, who was looking to force a deciding doubles match and give Chile a chance at their first ATP Cup tie win.
‘Got off to a really good start and I feel like a lot of things we have been working on, I was able to implement them,’ Anderson said. ‘Great that I was able to play a good match, and with Lloyd [Harris] playing well as well, get our first win for our team.’
Anderson played only five tournaments last year because of injuries (right elbow, right knee) and underwent season-ending knee surgery in September. Before Saturday at the ATP Cup, where he lost in two tiebreakers to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, he last played in the third round of Wimbledon in July 2019.
‘A little bit physically draining after my first match. It’s always, as much as you work off the court, it’s always a little bit different being in a match environment,’Anderson said. ‘But a really good day of recovery yesterday and my body felt really good being out there today.’
Harris set up Anderson for the tie-clinching opportunity by beating Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-4. The world No99 broke three times and fought off a late surge from Jarry, who won his maiden ATP Tour title last year on clay in Bastad.
‘I’m super happy. I went down early at the start with the break, but came back strong straight away, broke him to love, and I think I just built on confidence from there,’ Harris said. ‘Started serving well, hitting some spots, going more for percentage and I feel like I just constructed the match very well and it panned out as I wanted.’
Harris, 22, had his best season in 2019 and was steady against the tall Jarry, hitting 24 winners to 14 unforced errors.
Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse then made it a perfect day for the South Africans, beating Garin/Jarry 1-6, 6-3, 10-7 in the men’s doubles.