Kevin Anderson went down to Serb star Novak Djokovic for the second time this year when he lost to the word’s No2 player in the Mutua Madrid Open tournament in Spain on Wednesday.
Our top-ranked player, 35th on the ATP Tour rankings, went down in straight sets 6-3 6-4 in the second round to the in-form Djokovic.
The 23-year-old Australian Open champion is unbeaten in all of his 28 matches this season and is closing in on Ivan Lendl’s record of 29 victories at the start of the 1989 campaign.
Anderson fought hard though and kept his opponent out on court for 1hr 40min before going down. He also won the aces battle 7-2 and recorded no double-faults compared to the one by Djokovic. His first service percentage and points won on first service were both lower though. He had a 72% first service percentage compared to Djokovic’s 71% and won 72% of his first service points compared to 82% by Djokovic.
Speaking on the fact that he’s closing in on Lendl’s record Djokovic said: “It’s a great honour and very flattering to be part of that elite but it’s not my priority,” the 23-year-old Serbian, who has won five titles this year, told a news conference. “I am just taking each match at a time and hoping I can win,” he added.
“It’s kind of a surprise but I always believed that I have the quality to beat any player. I am a more mature player and I have more self-belief which is very important for this level.”
Djokovic’s last appearance at the clay event in the Spanish capital came in 2009, when he held three match points against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals before losing 3-6 7-6 7-6 in a contest that lasted a record four hours and three minutes.