By Martyn Herman
PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) - Kevin Anderson became the first South African to reach the fourth round of the French Open since 1996 when he outslugged 14th seed Milos Raonic on Friday.
The 27-year-old, Africa’s only men’s singles main draw entrant, won 7-5 7-6 (4) 6-3 in a match he dominated with his serve to equal the feat of Wayne Ferreira.
The 6-foot-8 (2.03-metre) Anderson also equalled his best ever grand slam showing having also reached the last 16 at the Australian Open earlier this year.
“Wayne is a great player to aspire to and to try and reach some of his achievements,” Anderson told reporters.
“He was a great player and I’ve still obviously got a long way to go to...but being in the fourth round is great. A lot of people think clay is not a good surface but I enjoy playing on it.”
After disposing of Canada’s big-serving powerhouse Raonic, Anderson’s next challenge will be Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, a player he shares a 1-1 record with.
It will be a different type of contest to the one against the giant Raonic and Anderson is hoping for warmer, drier weather in time for Sunday’s fourth round.
”I think it might help,“ said the South African after delivering 16 aces. ”The serve might bounce up a little bit more and it may be easier to control points and get the ball up a little bit.
“I think that would be a bit more to my advantage.” (Editing by Toby Davis)