Melbourne - Kevin Anderson was undone by a chronic knee injury during his Round 1 loss to American Rajeev Ram at the 2016 Australian Open.
Anderson retired in the fourth set trailing 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (7/4), 6-3, 3-0.
Anderson revealed he has been struggling with a recurring problem to his left knee which he picked up in Chennai at the start of the year.
“I originally hurt it in Chennai and then I was okay for Auckland before my knee seized up a few days ago here in Melbourne," Anderson confirmed.
Anderson admitted it's not an easy injury to deal with.
“It has been pretty painful since it happened. During the first set I was able to move okay even though it was on my mind. It just got progressively worse.”
Retiring mid-match was not a situation Anderson enjoyed.
“I dislike not being able to finish a match and it has only happened a handful of times before.”
The injury is something Anderson has had to deal with before.
“It’s a chronic injury resulting from wear and tear. There is some inflammation. It’s really temperamental. It was like this a few years ago, but I was able to take care of it.”
Anderson admitted he tried taping his knee at the start of the match as a last resort, but when it didn’t help he took the tape off and it “just made it worse”.
Anderson reflected on this being “one of his favourite tournaments of the year and how he was looking forward to it” after such a stellar year in 2015.
One of his key goals for 2016 was remaining healthy “and unfortunately I was unable to do this (in this tournament).”
When asked about his likely time out of the game to recover, Anderson looked at the bigger picture.
“It’s not just about healing the injury, but ensuring that it doesn’t reappear some time again soon.”
Anderson was disappointed by this setback as he feels that “he can take it a step further and challenge for a place in the top 10” as he feels “he definitely has the game. My belief has become stronger and I feel I can certainly compete and take my game to the next level.”
One of his major goals for 2016 “is to try and take bigger steps as opposed to little ones leading to incremental improvements. I’ve got the game and I would like to take a bigger step.”