Australian Open 2nd rd Preview Kevin Anderson Vs Frances Tiafoe

Kevin Anderson Vs Frances Tiafoe at the Australian Open 2019 second round preview.
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Kevin Anderson is a quiet favorite for this year’s Men’s singles Australian Open title. Few are explicitly championing him as the favorite, but even fewer would be shocked if he won the title.

Anderson crept upon the tennis big time a couple of seasons ago, going from one of the game’s biggest servers and solid top 20 players to one of its greatest competitors established in the top ten. Having come back from ankle and shoulder injuries in 2016, Anderson reached the US Open ’17 final as the 28th seed, broke into the top 10 in early ’18 and made the Wimbledon final, playing that match versus John Isner, that same season.

There’s little chance of Frances Tiafoe creeping up on the big stage. The 20 year old’s been on the radar since he was a teen, a former No.2 in the juniors, the youngest winner of the Orange Bowl (aged 15 and 11 months) and made a much hyped pro debut at the 2014 Citi Open.

Tiafoe’s powerful serve and forehand, shot-making, and athleticism are touted to help take him to the top of the game. Ranked 39, he’s on the right track and it won’t be too long before he’s seeded and the likes of Anderson won’t have to worry about him until at least another round.

Anderson knows only too well how dangerous Tiafoe is. They have met three times, all on hard court, two of those matches going three sets and the straight setter featuring a tiebreak.

Tiafoe has not made a name for himself as a danger to the seeds at slams just yet, however. Tiafoe’s record in slams is unremarkable- he’s 5-11 with his best result coming at last year’s Wimbledon, the third round. But, he does have two top ten wins at ATP events on his resume, both on hard courts, and both in tough three setters, (Vs Sascha Zverev Cincy’17; del Potro Delray Beach ’18 on his run to his one and only title), and that seed slaying breakthrough can only be so far away.

It could come as soon as this Australian Open 2nd round contest. As Tiafoe’s close matches versus Anderson suggest, these two are a good match up. Both have great first serves, can control points from the baseline and have an aggressive mindset. The difference could be the second serve, of which Anderson has the greater of the two.

If both men serve out of their minds, then inspiration will decide this one. Tiafoe likes the big crowds and can produce the kind of tennis to get them going. Anderson’s inspiration tends to express itself in huge winners hit out of nowhere sure to draw a few gasps.

Neither player will have to listen hard for their muse with the crowd knowledgeable about both player’s stage in their careers, a crowd who will do their vocal best to help them realize their potential- Anderson’s shot at making another slam final and ending his days as bridesmaid; Tiafoe on the verge of getting his career really rolling and announcing himself as a contender.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.

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