2018 could not have started much better for the South Africa's Kevin Anderson. In less than two months he has won a title (New York), played a final (Pune) and reached his career best ranking of ninth. The big hitter from Johannesburg, resident in Florida, is riding high again after a troubled 2016 full of muscular problems. In 2016/17 he had surgery on his left knee, right shoulder, groin, hip and left thigh,interrupting what seemed like an extraordinary road to success.
This season he is guided by a new coach, Brad Stine, who replaced the well-known Neville Godwin at the end of 2017. Anderson, 6.6 feet tall and weighing 93kg, confirmed last year that he had once again become part of the international elite, especially with his performance at the US Open, where he played the final against Rafa Nadal. It was a season that saw Godwin named coach of the year by the ATP.
At 31 years old, this formidable server who fell to the 80th place in the world ranking in January 2017 is now living his second youth. And the victory in the New York Open has returned him to the winners cycle (he had not lifted a trophy since the Winston-Salem tournament of 2015). He already has four titles, three in the United States (Delray Beach, Winston-Salem, and New York) and one in his hometown, although the figure of 11 lost finals continues to blight his record and causes many observers to deny him the role of favorite when he is playing a decisive match.
His game is that of a classic hard or grass court player, but the South African tennis player has played the Barcelona Open Banc four times and has improved every year. He debuted in 2008, 10 years ago, and was eliminated in the first round. In 2011 he managed to win his first match, defeating Pablo Cuevas, and lost in the second round. In 2012 and 2017 he achieved his record by reaching the last 16 and in both cases he was defeated by Spaniards, Fernando Verdasco and Rafa Nadal, respectively.