A match-up between two towering big servers is scheduled to take place in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, as American No. 1 John Isner and South African No. 1 Kevin Anderson cross paths for the tenth time on the professional tour. Isner leads the head-to-head series 6-3, including the last three consecutive meetings.
After successfully winning the Atlanta Open and proclaiming his love for the North American hard court portion of the season, he lost in the opening round in Washington and Toronto to Steve Johnson and Ivan Dodig respectively. They were surprising losses considering his form just weeks before.
Kevin Anderson had a bittersweet week in Toronto as he worked his way through a draw that included Thanasi Kokkinakis, Fabio Fognini and Stan Wawrinka before losing to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-final round. It was the manner that he lost in that makes it a difficult one to swallow, as Anderson squandered a pair of match points before double faulting to hand Dimitrov the match in three sets.
Following his loss, Anderson was asked how the loss would affect his week in Cincinnati, to which he responded:
“I’m sure it will be pretty tough to sleep tonight. I mean at this stage in the quarter-finals to go through to semis, it will be really tough. I just have to try and put it down and bounce back. I feel like I’ve done that throughout my career and that’s when it might be a bit tougher. I’m definitely not going to let it keep me down.”
This will mark the tenth time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Isner leading the series 6-3. He won their last three consecutive meetings, including their last one in Atlanta in 2013. While the odds would favour the American, he has had an abysmal start to his US Open Series and it could certainly play a factor into his performance during this match.
Prediction: Kevin Anderson in Three Sets