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Anderson into second round

By Mark Etheridge

Our top-ranked tennis ace Kevin Anderson has had more than one reason to celebrate this week, firstly qualifying for the main draw of the prestigious Rogers Cup in Toronto and then going through to the second round.

The giant South African went past Argentine’s Leonardo Mayer 7-6 6-4 in a rain-interrupted first round match. Significant for Anderson was the fact that Mayer is ranked 19 places higher than Anderson — 68th and 87th respectively.

Anderson’s immediate reward will be a match against the in-form Sam Querrey, seeded 16th for the tournament. Querrey had earlier beaten 11th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia. Querrey beat Anderson in the Last 16 of the Farmer’s Classic in Los Angeles recently and then went on to beat Britain’s Andy Murray in the final.

Should Anderson overcome that hurdle, he could face his biggest obstacle of the tournament as top seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain lurks a match away.

Seeded 10th in qualifying, Anderson beat Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu (seeded second) and American Tim Smyczek both in straight sets.

The Rogers Cup, with prize money of $2.43-million is the oldest ongoing tournament in world tennis, after Wimbledon and the US Open and rotates between Montreal and Vancouver.

Meanwhile Anderson’s big-serving countryman, Izak Van der Merwe has rocketed up the latest ATP rankings list, improving a spectacular 74 places to a career-high 189th, and is now our second highest ranked player

Van der Merwe turned professional six years ago in preference to his other sporting passion of golf and has since gone on to represent his country in Davis Cup action.

His form is good news for Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager who soon has to name his team for the crucial World Group play-off on clay against Germany in Stuttgart on 17-19 September.

It’s still not known whether De Jager has managed to persuade Anderson to make himself available for Davis Cup duty but De Jager will be keeping all digits crossed that he makes his return to the fold.