Last year’s losing finalist Kevin Anderson will be hoping to defend as many of his points from last year as best as possible when he kicks off his tournament on Monday. His bump in the seedings hasn’t really done him much favour, placing him in the same half as Novak Djokovic. He has a potentially tricky opener against Pierre Hugues Herbert in round one.
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Former doubles World No.1 Herbert split from Nicolas Mahut earlier in the year as he seeks to focus on his singles game, in which he has so far achieved a career high just inside the top 40. While he will be playing with Andy Murray in this year’s event, it seems a logical path for a player who has achieved a lot already in the doubles game. He boasts a strong serve and power game while his doubles prowess means he is a strong performer at the net. He was a semi finalist in Halle, eventually losing to Roger Federer.
Anderson has played just two matches since Miami and couldn’t be more vulnerable going into a tournament that he needs to go deep in to avoid plummeting too far down the rankings. He beat Cameron Norrie but was outlasted by Gilles Simon in the the next round 6-1 4-6 6-4.
Anderson won the only meeting between the two and should make it 2-0 if he is fully fit and ready to go. However, the lack of matches due to his elbow injury has to be a concern especially with the serve of the South African being so vital to his success.
Prediction – Kevin Anderson in straight sets