ATP Tour

Tough start to 2016 for Anderson

Kevin Anderson (AP)
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - Meant as the springboard after a successful 2015 to challenging for an established world top 10 ranking, the New Year has not exactly been kind to top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson, with the ranking of the gangling, 6ft 8in big-server due to slip from 12th to 14th on the completion of the Australian Open.

A first-round exit at  Melbourne Park in the first Grand Slam tournament of 2016 when he retired with a troublesome knee injury after trailing 82nd-ranked American Rajeev Ram 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 3-0 cost Anderson 170 ranking points and moved him two places down the ranking ladder.

But the niggling injury apart, Anderson has not achieved a single noteworthy match win in 2016 - let alone a tournament success - during the year's opening month while losing, in the process, games against Milos Raonic, Feliciano Lopez, Jack Sock and now Ram.

Anderson also withdrew from India's Chennai Open when his knee injury flared up shortly before the tournament and in an effort to achieve full fitness, he has elected to miss next month's Memphis Open in which he reached the final last year - thereby set to drop further ranking points and positions.

In the process, the slim chance of Anderson ending his self-imposed five-year absence from representing South Africa in the Davis Cup in the Euro-Africa  Group Two tie against Luxembourg in early-March has seemingly vanished altogether.

In a column he writes for, Anderson says he is making every effort to regain his form and fitness, but in consultation with his back-up staff and medical opinion, the decision has been made to have a three-week break from tournament play.

But the longer Anderson's inactivity from tournaments, the tougher it will be to make up lost ground and place himself again in a position to challenge for a top 10 ranking.



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