Cilic contest transformed Simon, says Anderson

The World No 15 and the second seed of the ATP 250 Tata Open Maharashtra feels that his opponent was more patient in his approach in the final.

Even in the U.S. Open last year, Anderson reached the finals only to lose to Rafael Nadal.   -  PTI

Tournament top seed and World No 15 Kevin Anderson believes Gilles Simon’s approach towards the game changed for the better once he beat Marin Cilic in the semifinals, following which he outplayed the South African in the finals of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium on Saturday.

“I think he incorporated a different style of tennis after playing Cilic. His first serve came at 160, which put me off a bit. I didn’t execute things well and he defends well. It was a disappointing day at office for me and I think he played smart tennis. He was very patient today, which was a noticeable change,” said the 31-year-old, whose goal this year is “to qualify for London”.

“It is important to win matches to go into big tournaments. I have to keep my head up and play good tennis. Today, I was just not able to do it,” he added.

Even in the U.S. Open last year, Anderson reached the finals only to lose to Rafael Nadal. “I don’t have the best record I agree. I can’t use it as a motivation. I hope I will be able to compete in more finals and play better tennis. I want to improve my record.”

However, he feels he did a good job with the extended rallies. “My biggest fault today were the unforced errors. It made life difficult for me,” he asserted.

But the big man thanked the tournament and believed there were enough takeaways. “The biggest achievement is the trust that I got in my own game. The results speak for themselves. Even in my quarters and semis, there were times when I wasn’t in the match but I broke free and controlled the game later. It gave me a lot of confidence, though today was tough, but you got to move on,” said Anderson.