Grass could aid Anderson against Monfils

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Kevin Anderson (AP)
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - Kevin Anderson will be eager to upset the record books when he plays France’s Gael Monfils in the Wimbledon Round of 16 on Monday.

The South African eighth seed will not only be looking to reach a maiden Wimbledon quarter-final, but he’ll also be eyeing victory over Monfils for the first time.

Anderson may be ranked higher than his world No 44 opponent, he’s got a 0-5 losing record against the flashy Frenchman.

In fact, in their five prior meetings, Anderson has only won one of the 11 sets contested.

However, it has to be noted that Monday’s encounter will be the pair’s first meeting on grass, with three of their head-to-head duels being played on hard courts and the other two on clay, previously.

Their last meeting was also two years ago - at a Masters 1000 event in Shanghai - and Anderson has made significant strides over the last year, hence his current world ranking of No 8.

Anderson's best effort at Wimbledon has been reaching the fourth round on three occasions (2014, 2015 and 2017), while Monfils' current run is his best ever at the All England Club.

Anderson will feel confident he can beat Monfils on the Frenchman’s least favoured surface.

Monfils is a great shot-maker and boasts sublime retrieving skills, but his game has not always translated well onto the faster grass surface.

There's no doubt that, on grass, Anderson will be confident he can make more inroads into the Monfils game.

He noted in a press conference over the weekend: "I feel like on other surfaces he (Monfils) does such a great job of retrieving, absorbing pace very well. He stands quite far back behind the baseline. I feel it's a little tougher to do on grass."

Leading SA bookies BET.co.za have installed Anderson as the 7/10 favourite, with Monfils on offer at 21/20.

The winner of Monday’s match will likely face the daunting prospect of coming up against top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Federer plays French 22nd seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round and is the heavy favourite to advance.

Federer is a 1/100 'certainty', with Mannarino available at 39/4 at BET.co.za.

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