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Anderson in shock Australian Open exit

South Africa’s top-ranked men’s player, Kevin Anderson crashed out of the Australian Open on day one in Melbourne on Monday.

Anderson, seeded 11th for the year’s first Grand Slam, went out to Britain’s Kyle Edmund, currently ranked 49th in the world.

Both Anderson, who reached the final of last year’s US Open, and Edmund were born in Johannesburg.

The United States based Anderson went down in five sets – 6-7 (4) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.

That after having fired down no fewer than 36 aces in a match that went one minute short of the four hour mark.

The official ATP website reported that tt was no surprise that this was a match of the highest quality after Edmund showed his good form by pushing 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov to 4-4 in the third set before succumbing to the Bulgarian in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.

The 23-year-old defeated Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung in the previous round and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov in his opener in Brisbane.

But what stood out on Show Court 3 against 31-year-old Anderson was his fighting spirit. Many players would put their heads down when broken by the massive-serving South African hours into a tough battle. Yet Edmund came right back with tremendous returning to break in the very next game after going down 2-0 in the final set.

And while Anderson did well to save two break points from 15/40 at 3-3 in the final set, Edmund seized his third opportunity two points later to gain a lead he would not relinquish, earning two more holds without dropping a point on serve to clinch the triumph.

Edmund will next play Denis Istomin, who battled through a tough fourth set to defeat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2 6-1 5-7 7-6 (3).

Picture of Anderson in first round action courtesy of Michael Dodge/Getty Images