Cape Town - South African tennis star Kevin Anderson survived a scare in his opening round match at the Vienna Open indoor hard-court event on Monday.
Anderson rallied to defeat big-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.
The world No 8 had to save a match point when serving at 5-6 down in the second-set tie-break.
After surviving the scare, the South African took control in the final set by breaking Basilashvili’s serve to book his spot in the second round against Austrian wildcard Jurgen Melzer, who upset Canada’s Milos Raonic 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.
Anderson is the second seed in Vienna, behind local star Dominic Thiem.
Anderson, who reached this year’s Wimbledon final, is trying to make his debut at the prestigious ATP World Tour Finals to be held in London between November 11 and 18.
The tall South African is in seventh place in the ATP Race To London, with 3 765 points, 105 behind sixth-placed Marin Cilic (3 870), who advanced on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel.
The top eight in the race on November 5 will qualify for the year-end showpiece.