17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer (Profile) is facing his final opportunity to qualify for a twelfth consecutive appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals when he meets South Africa’s Kevin Anderson (Profile) for the first time in the second round of the Paris Masters 2013 tournament. Check out the Federer v Anderson Head to Head.
Although the Swiss star failed to capture the Basel Open title for the second consecutive year after losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in the final, it was certainly his best tournament performance since his Cincinnati quarter-final showing against Rafael Nadal. The former World No. 1 has struggled after a season with disappointing performances and baffling results. Much is riding Federer’s performance against Anderson tomorrow as a win would guarantee him a spot in the year-end championships next week.
Kevin Anderson defeated Mikhail Youzhny earlier today after the Russian was unable to complete the match in the third set. It was a bizarre performance from Youzhny, who held match point before retiring in the third set at 2-1. The World No. 21 had lost five of his last six matches heading into the Paris Masters and will be looking to end the year strong with the biggest win of his career. He is 1-9 this year against top 10 competition and has compiled a 37-22 overall record this season.
The 6’8″ Anderson will certainly have a big serve that Fed will need to withstand but he should be able to dictate the longer baseline rallies and play the more consistent points en route to a straight sets victory. Anderson’s height and strength will allow him to hold many of his own games but it will ultimately be down to Federer’s experience that will likely shift the momentum in his favour.
This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the ATP Tour and it will certainly be a tense match as all eye will be on the former World No. 1 as he attempts to make his final bid for the ATP Tour Finals in London. Federer has the advantage in experience and court savvy but will need to muster every fibre of confidence in his body to ensure that he does not fall to the big serves of Anderson. All the Swiss legend has to do is control the length of the rallies and dictate the points on his serve and he will likely take advantage of the errors from the inexperienced Anderson. It will be interesting to see how this match plays out and if Federer will equal the great Ivan Lendl’s record of 12 consecutive appearances at the year-end championships.