Anderson survives first round Australian Open thriller

Kevin Anderson (Getty Images)
Kevin Anderson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African tennis ace Kevin Anderson came from two sets to one down on Tuesday, battling past Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 2-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) in three hours and 54 minutes to reach the second round of the Australian Open.

The big-serving 33-year-old first recovered from 1-4 down in the fourth set and then saved one match point on serve at 4-5, 30/40 in the deciding set. He completed victory with an overhead, having gained the decisive mini-break in the final tie-break when he rushed to the net and Ivashka hit a backhand passing stroke wide.

Anderson will next face American 29th seed Taylor Fritz on Thursday, who beat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lloyd Harris lost to Argentine 14th-seed Diego Schwartzman. Harris' Australian Open campaign ended after a straight sets loss to the Argentine who won relatively comfortably against the rising South African star with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 score line.

The match lasted just 105 minutes after the 22-year-old Harris dropped serve six times in the match. He won the eventual ace count 8-4 but that mattered little on a day when he also made 47 unforced errors against 18 by Schwartzman, who has a No 14 world ranking.

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